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Woman celebrates divorce by blowing up wedding dress

By
Ben Hooper

Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A Texas woman celebrated her divorce by destroying her wedding dress with an explosion felt from up to 15 miles away.

Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler, 43, said her divorce was finalized Friday in Medina County after 14 years of marriage and she wanted to celebrate by destroying the dress.

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"I wanted to remove all things from our marriage from our house," Santleben-Stiteler told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Photos in the attic, ring in the safe (but probably going to sell it) and the dress I wanted to burn."

"I had a lot of advice and suggestions from friends and family, like donating it for premature babies and baptism gowns. However, to me, the dress represented a lie. I wanted to have a divorce party to burn the dress," she said.

Santleben-Stiteler gathered with friends and family at her father's farm in Lacoste, about 25 miles west of San Antonio, and she used a scoped rifle to trigger the explosion with Tannerite, the explosive component in exploding shooting targets.

"We were all getting messages asking if that was our explosion people were feeling and hearing around the county, up to at least 15 miles away," said Carla Santleben-Newport, Kimberly's sister. "It was like, 'Uh, is everything okay over there?'"

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Santleben-Stiteler said the explosion was cathartic.

"On the one hand, it was like being on set of some action movie. The explosion was huge," Santleben-Stiteler said. "It was liberating pulling that trigger. It was closure for all of us."

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