Monday 17 December 2018

Explosion felt 15 miles away as woman blows up wedding dress at divorce party

Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler said the dress had to burn because it ‘represented a lie’.

The explosion could be heard miles away (Carla Santleben-Newport)
The explosion could be heard miles away (Carla Santleben-Newport)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

A woman celebrated her new single status in explosive fashion – by blowing up her wedding dress at her divorce party.

Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler held a celebration with family and friends on Saturday night to mark the end of her 14-year marriage.

And the centrepiece of the event in La Coste, Texas saw her loading up her wedding dress with explosives before shooting it with a rifle.

The ensuing explosion would apparently be felt up to 15 miles away.

Carla Santleben-Newport, Kimberley’s sister, told the Press Association: “My sister’s divorce was finalised on Friday and (she) wanted to burn her wedding dress, so my dad and husband took care of things.

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Kimberly felt her wedding dress “represented a lie” (Carla Santleben-Newport)

“They filled her dress with 20lbs of Tannerite and she shot it with a .308 rifle creating a beautiful and loud experience.

“We had Facebook comments and text messages of people hearing the noise in a 15-mile radius. It was a great way to celebrate her divorce.”

Kimberly, 43, told the Centre Daily Times that she was determined to burn it because “the the dress represented a lie”.

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The occasion was suitably festive (Carla Santleben-Newport)

Once the explosion idea was hit upon, some preparation was needed – for one thing, Kimberly was no expert with guns.

To ensure everyone was safe when the dress went boom, the party – and therefore the shot that set off the explosion – was about 200 yards away from the dress itself.

And that was no easy shot.

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Kimberly got plenty of practice in to make sure she nailed that first shot (Carla Santleben-Newport)

“We have a friend who is a bomb tech and he kept saying, ‘that’s really a lot (of explosives)’, like five different times when we told him our plan,” Carla said.

“My dad and husband set the dress up at 100 yards from the barn on our family farm. Everyone was worried it was too close so they moved it out another 100 yards.

“Kimberly is not a hunter so James, my husband, practised with her that afternoon. She did absolutely amazing hitting the dress on her first shot and blowing her dress to pieces.”

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Got it in one (Carla Santleben-Newport)

The moment certainly seemed to go down well with the assembled family and friends – and for Kimberly it was every bit as cathartic as she hoped.

“It was liberating pulling that trigger,” she told the Centre Daily Times. “It was closure for all of us.”

Press Association

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