Expectant father killed after gender-reveal device explodes

An expectant father has died after a device he was building for his baby’s gender reveal party exploded, police say.

The tragic incident took place in the garage of Christopher Pekny’s home in the Catskills town of Liberty when the device he was assembling unexpectedly exploded on Sunday afternoon.

Police responded to reports of an explosion at 11:55 a.m. and said the blast killed Mr Pekny and injured his brother Michael Pekny, 27, who was taken to hospital.

State Police spokesperson Private Steven Nevel said the causes of the explosion were currently under investigation.

Mr Nevel added that the device consisted of a type of pipe intended for use at a sex disclosure party later in the day, but the nature of its explosive material was not yet known.

Police said currently “no charges should be laid” in the incident.

Speaking to The New York Times, Mr. Pekny’s older brother, Peter Pekny Jr, described what happened as “the most frightening freak accident I can ever imagine.”

He said his brother Michael was in stable condition at a hospital in Middleton, New York and doctors were able to reconstruct a damaged knee.

Mr Pekny, who was due to celebrate his 29th birthday on Tuesday, learned that his girlfriend, Jennifer, was pregnant in December. They were expecting a little boy.

This is the latest in a series of gender revealing tragedies that have occurred over the years.

More recently, a Michigan man died earlier this month after being struck by shrapnel from a gender reveal cannon used in a baby shower, authorities said.

In 2020, a couple started a forest fire that burned for more than a month after setting off a smoke bomb to reveal the gender of their baby.

The smoke bomb ignited wild grasses inside El Dorado Ranch Park in southern California and burned 22,744 acres, destroying homes and forcing hundreds to evacuate.

A firefighter also died fighting the blaze.

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