An explosive accessory being built for a gender reveal party accidentally detonated and killed a future father in upstate New York, authorities said Monday.
The tragic accident occurred in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, about 100 miles northwest of New York City, just before 11:55 a.m. Sunday, state police said.
Christopher Pekny, 28, was killed in the blast and his brother Michael Pekny, 27, was injured, authorities said.
The accessory under construction was not even going to be the final product that would be used for the gender reveal, but just the prototype, Trooper Steven Nevel told NBC News.
“It was not meant to harm anyone,” Nevel said. “It was just an innocent endorsement for a gender reveal that went terribly wrong.”
The bomb squad investigation has only just started, so the materials Pekny had planned to use for the accessory were not immediately known, Nevel added.
With the rise of social media, more and more couples have opted for elaborate tricks to reveal the gender of their unborn baby. Some of the stunts involve incendiary devices or smoke bombs, usually with blue smoke to show that the baby will be a boy or pink smoke for a girl.
A California firefighter died last year fighting the El Dorado fire, a massive blaze sparked by a gender reveal party in San Bernardino County. More than 22,000 acres were charred.
In October 2019, 56-year-old Iowa resident Pamela Kreimeyer was killed by debris from an explosion at a gender reveal party.
“We’ve seen these (accidents) happening all over the country and ‘Don’t do it’ is the only thing I can say,” Nevel said.