We’re sad to report yet another gender reveal-related death.
A 28-year-old mechanic and first time father-to-be was killed on Sunday after an explosive contraption he was building for a gender reveal party accidentally went off right in front of him.
According to reports, Christopher Pekny was building the device in his garage in Liberty, NY with his 27-year-old brother Michael just before noon when it suddenly detonated. The younger brother was injured and rushed to the hospital, but Christopher was killed instantly.
While investigators are looking into what caused the explosion, police believe it was due to a kind of pipe intended for use at an upcoming gender reveal event. Christopher’s older brother Peter told the New York Times that both siblings were “very mechanically inclined”, and that Christopher was a brilliant mechanic who liked to take apart and rebuild cars. He said of the pair:
“If you could think of any two people who were the closest two people — amplify that tenfold… [it was] the freakiest of freak accidents that I could ever imagine.”
So unspeakably tragic.
Peter said he found out that his little brother and sister-in-law were expecting a baby boy shortly before Christmas, so the gender reveal was likely supposed to be for the entertainment of other loved ones. Peter added of his late brother:
“He was really looking forward to starting a family. He was really starting to settle down and grow up.”
Unfortunately, deaths involving gender reveal announcements have become a growing phenomenon over the past few years.
Earlier this month, a 26-year-old Michigan man was killed when a signal cannon at a baby shower exploded. Back in September, a firefighter died from California’s El Dorado wildfire — which investigators say was sparked by a smoke generating-device at a gender reveal party. In October 2019, a 56-year-old grandmother in Knoxville, Iowa was killed by “a flying piece of debris” at a gender reveal party when the family inadvertently built a pipe bomb, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Meanwhile, other gender reveal parties may have not cost lives, but they caused serious community wreckage. In 2017, an off-duty border patrol agent shot an explosive canister filled with blue powder and accidentally started a 47,000 acre fire that cost more than $8 million in damage.
How many more tragedies must happen before we retire use of explosives in gender reveal parties?