Father-to-be killed when gender reveal device explodes

US & World

LIBERTY, N.Y. (NEXSTAR) – An expectant father was killed when a device he was building for a gender reveal party exploded, police in New York said Monday.

Christopher Pekny, 28, was assembling a device for his child’s gender reveal party in the Catskills town of Liberty when it exploded just before noon Sunday, state police said.

Pekny was killed by the blast and his 27-year-old brother, Michael Pekny, was injured, police said. Michael Pekny was treated for his injuries at an area hospital.

New York State Police and the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit continued to investigate the incident Monday, according to a press release.

The death is the latest in a string of tragedies blamed on faulty gender reveal devices in recent years.

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.

Another gender reveal device sparked a September 2020 wildfire that burned thousands of acres in Southern California.

In the wake of the fire, a woman credited with popularizing gender reveal parties after her own gathering in 2008, pleaded with others to end the increasingly risky celebrations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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