Father-to-be killed after gender-reveal device explodes

23 February 2021, 11:24 | Updated: 23 February 2021, 12:43

Chris Pekny died while working on the gender reveal device at his home
Chris Pekny died while working on the gender reveal device at his home. Picture: Facebook/Chris Pekny

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A father-to-be has died after a device he was building for his child's gender reveal party exploded, police have said.

Chris Pekny, 28, was working on the device at his home on Sunday when it exploded.

His brother, Michael Pekny, was injured in the blast in the US town of Liberty, New York state, and taken to hospital.

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He reportedly suffered leg injuries and is said to be in a stable condition.

The device was made from some kind of pipe and intended to shoot out coloured powder, according to reports.

Mr Pekny's oldest brother, Peter Pekny Jr, told the New York Times what happened was "the freakiest of freak accidents that I could ever imagine".

He said he did not know what had caused the device to explode.

New York State Police said an investigation into what happened was ongoing.

The force said in a statement: On February 21, 2021, at approximately 11.55am, State Police Liberty responded to a residence on the Lt JG Brender Highway in the town of Liberty for a report of an explosion.

“An investigation revealed that Christopher Pekny, age 28, from the town of Liberty was building a device to be used at a child gender reveal party.

“The device exploded resulting in the death of Christopher Pekny and injuring his brother Michael Pekny, age 27, also of Liberty, who was transported to Garnet Medical Center in Middletown, NY.

“This incident remains under investigation by the New York State Police and the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit.”