Father-to-be dies in explosion of gender reveal device he was building

A New York father-to-be was killed Sunday morning when the gender reveal device he was building exploded, the New York State Police said.

Christopher Pekny, 28 was killed at his home in the Catskills town of Liberty, police said, and his 27-year-old brother Michael was injured by the exploding device.

Pekny as transported to Garnet Medical Center in Middletown for treatment.

State police spokesman Trooper Steven Nevel told the New York Times that investigators were still working to determine what cause the explosion. The device consisted of a pipe, but Nevel said the type of explosive material was not yet known.

Another Pekny brother — 34-year-old Peter — told the Times the explosion was “the freakiest of freak accident that I could ever imagine,” although he said he didn’t know what set off the blast.

He said Michael was in stable condition in the hospital and that doctors were rebuilding his damaged knee.

Peter Pekny also told the paper that Christopher learned just before Christmas that his girlfriend was pregnant and that the baby was a boy. The party for friends and family members was to be later on Sunday, he said.

Pekny’s family owns the Robin Hood Diner in Livingston Manor, a well-known trout fishing area of the Catskills, and Christopher worked there. “The Robin Hood will be closed for the immediate future,” the diner posted on its Facebook page. “More details will be posted when we have them available. Thank you.”

Gender reveal parties with explosives have become popular in recent years in the United States, and they have caused problems. Recently, CrimeOnline reported that a Michigan man was killed when a cannon used to celebrate at a baby shower exploded. A 56-year-old woman died after being hit by shrapnel when a gender reveal device exploded, and in 2018 a US Border Patrol agent’s gender reveal party caused a devastating wildfire in Arizona, killing one person and forcing hundreds of evacuations.

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