Young dad-to-be killed in ‘freakiest’ gender reveal explosion

Christopher Pekny, who was killed in an explosion while building a device for his child's gender reveal party

A 28-year-old father-to-be in New York has been killed in an explosion while building a mysterious device for a gender reveal party, police have said.

Christopher Pekny from Liberty, New York, died on Sunday (21 February) while assembling a device in a Catskills garage for the gender reveal party of his child.

His younger brother Michael Pekny, 27, was injured in the explosion but is in a stable condition in hospital and doctors are working to rebuild his knee.

Older brother Peter Pekny Jr, 34, told the New York Times that the two of them were “very mechanically inclined” and that “they could fix and do anything”. He added that the explosion was “the freakiest of freak accidents that I could ever imagine”.

Police are still investigating what caused the explosion and state police trooper Steven Nevel said that the gender reveal device was made of a kind of pipe.

Peter said: “He was really looking forward to starting a family. He was really starting to settle down and grow up.”

Christopher worked at the Robin Hood Diner, owned by the Pekny family, and the restaurant wrote on Facebook: “We are deeply saddened and must inform you all of the loss of our dear and beloved Christopher.

“We appreciate the overwhelming display of love and support that you all have shown. The Robin Hood will be closed for the immediate future.”

The last few years have seen a huge increase in gender reveal party-related accidents, some of which have been deadly.

Just this month, Evan Thomas Silva, 26, from Hartland, Michigan, was killed in the blast from a gender reveal canon.

Other incidents have led to planes crashingarrests and raging wildfires.

The woman who first popularised the trend, Jenna Karvunidis, issued a plea last year for parents to stop hosting gender reveal after one such event caused a 9,600 acre wildfire that led to more than 20,000 Californians being evacuated from their homes.

She said at the time: “Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.”