The explosion was reported by residents in the towns around Kingston, roughly 40 miles (64 km) north of Boston, at about 7pm on Tuesday.
“It was a loud boom that shook our four-family townhouse,” a resident of Plainstow, south of Kingston, told The Boston Globe. “The kids stumbled and yelled ‘Earthquake!’”
According to Kingston police, the blast was caused by a family for a gender reveal party at a quarry on Dorre Road, the Globe reported.
The remains of 80 pounds of over-the-counter explosive called Tannerite — typically used for firearms training — were found by officers.
Kingston police said the individuals “cooperated with the detective and informed him that they were having a gender reveal party”.
Officers were told by the family that the quarry, Torromeo Industries, was chosen because it was thought to be a safe location for the gender reveal explosion.
Torromeo Industries allowed the family to use the quarry, NBC News Boston reported. A resident near the quarry added: “We heard this god-awful blast, it knocked pictures off our walls”.
According to the Globe, the blast included blue chalk, indicating the birth of a baby boy.
An investigation is being carried out, and the person responsible for the blast turned themselves in following the incident. Charges for damage could be filed.
The Kingston explosion is among a number of gender reveal events that have ended in arrests, or fatally, with a California gender reveal party in 2020 blamed for wildfires that forced residents to evacuate.