MIDDLETOWN, NY – A 28-year-old New York man anticipating the birth of his child died on Sunday when a device intended for a sex reveal party exploded, police said.
Christopher Pekny was working on the device at his home in Liberty, New York, with his 27-year-old brother, Michael Pekny, when the explosion occurred, state police said. Michael was injured and taken to a nearby hospital.
State Police Soldier Steven Nevel said the device “was not designed or manufactured for malicious purposes.”
Police responded to the residence just before noon Sunday to the report of an unknown explosion.
Nevel said state police were continuing to investigate.
Peter Pekny, the two men’s older brother, told The New York Times that the explosion was “the most frightening freak accident I can ever imagine.” Pekny told the newspaper he didn’t know what caused the explosion.
The future father was “incredibly close” to his brother who was injured in the blast and ready to take on the new parenting role, Peter Pekny told the Washington Post.
“He was finally ready to settle down and he was so happy to be a dad,” Peter Pekny told The Post. “He was just that big kid, ready to be a man. And it shouldn’t have happened.
The trend of gender revealing parties and the impulse of people to go big for events has resulted in more injuries and deaths in recent years.
In February, shrapnel from a small party cannon fired at a baby shower struck and killed a 26-year-old man in Michigan. A smoke device used in a gender reveal at El Dorado Ranch Park in California in September 2020 sparked a wildfire that burned for 23 days on 22,000 acres and resulted in the death of a firefighter.
A genre revelation in Florida that used what the media described as a weapon and the Tannerite explosive set off a 10-acre bushfire that caused $ 8 million in damage in April 2020.
Debris from a homemade explosive used for a gender reveal struck a woman in Iowa, killing her, in October 2019. A gender reveal party in Arizona in 2018 started the “Sawmill Fire,” which burned down 45,000 acres.
Contribution: Heather Yakin, Times Herald-Record; Ryan Miller, USA TODAY
Follow reporter Ryan Santistevan on Twitter @NewsByRyan_.