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Expecting father killed by explosion at gender reveal party


Geoff Herbert


An Upstate New York man has died in an explosion while making a bomb for his child’s gender reveal party.

New York State Police said they responded to a report of an explosion in the Hudson Valley 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.

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 Sullivan County, was also injured in the blast. He was transported to Garnet Medical Center in Middletown 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. In 2019, a grandmother was killed when a homemade explosive device went horribly wrong outside a rural Knoxville, Iowa, home, shooting metal shrapnel towards 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.


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