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A Father-To-Be Died In An Explosion Caused By A Gender-Reveal Device

Authorities said that the explosion killed Christopher Pekny, 28, and injured his 27-year-old brother, Michael Pekny.

Posted on February 22, 2021, at 3:16 p.m. ET


Christopher Pekny

Christopher Pekny, a 28-year-old father-to-be from New York, died after a device he was building for his child's gender-reveal party exploded, authorities said.

The New York State Police responded to reports of an explosion at a residence in the town of Liberty at 11:55 a.m. on Sunday. Authorities said that the gender-reveal device that Pekny was building exploded, killing him and injuring his 27-year-old brother, Michael Pekny.

The state police and its bomb disposal unit are investigating the incident.

Authorities did not specify what kind of device Pekny was building for the party. A New York State Police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Monday, "Currently there are no charges to be filed."

This isn't the first time gender-reveal stunts by families have turned deadly.

Last September, a firefighter in California died while battling a massive wildfire that was sparked by a pyrotechnic device used at a family's gender-reveal event. The El Dorado fire burned more than 19,000 acres, destroyed houses, and forced hundreds to flee their homes.

And in 2019, a 56-year-old grandmother was killed when her family made a pipe bomb that exploded while planning a gender-reveal event. The family had gathered at their home to experiment with different types of explosives so they could film the announcement for social media.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.