NY dad-to-be dies in explosion while making gender-reveal device

The man's brother also sustained injuries in the blast

Geoff Herbert

LIBERTY, N.Y. — A New York man has died in an explosion while making a bomb for his unborn child’s gender reveal party.

New York State Police said they responded to a report of an explosion in the Sullivan County town of Liberty around noon on Sunday. An investigation determined that 28-year-old Christopher Pekny was killed at his home while building an explosive device to be used at a baby gender-reveal party.

A father-to-be died in a blast while making an explosive device for a gender-reveal party, according to the New York State Police.
A father-to-be died in a blast while making an explosive device for a gender-reveal party, according to the New York State Police. (Photo/New York State Police)

State police confirmed Pekny was the father-to-be of the child.

Trooper Steven Nevel, Troop F spokesman, told the Times Herald-Record that the device “was not being built or made for malicious purposes.”

Pekny’s brother, 27-year-old Michael Pekny, also of Liberty in the Catskills/Hudson Valley region, was injured in the blast. He was transported to Garnet Medical Center in Middletown, N.Y., for treatment.

This incident remains under investigation by the New York State Police and the NYS Police Bomb Disposal Unit.

Addition details have not been disclosed.

Pekny’s death is far from the first tragedy related to a gender reveal party. A smoke-emitting pyrotechnic device, which typically shoots off blue or pink smoke to announce a baby’s gender, caused a large wildfire in California last year.

A Michigan man was killed earlier this month when he was struck by shrapnel from a gender reveal cannon being used at a baby shower, authorities said.

In 2019, a grandmother was killed when a homemade explosive device went wrong outside a rural Knoxville, Iowa, home, shooting metal shrapnel toward a pregnant woman’s family standing 45 feet away.

Gender reveal parties first became a social media phenomenon about a decade ago, mostly focusing on couples popping balloons with pink or blue confetti, or cutting into cakes filled with pink or blue icing. However, the trend has grown into more creative, and sometimes dangerous, ways of telling the world the sex of the baby they’re expecting in hopes of going viral online.


(c)2021 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Read more: Dr. David K. Tan outlines the main types of injuries that can result from an explosion in "Blast injuries: 4 types EMS providers need to know"

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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