(CBS NEWS) – An expectant father was killed when a device he was building for a gender-reveal party exploded, police in New York said Monday. Christopher Pekny, 28, was assembling a device for his child’s gender-reveal party in the Catskills town of Liberty when it exploded just before noon Sunday, state police said.
Pekny was killed by the blast and his 27-year-old brother, Michael Pekny, was injured, police said. He was treated for his injuries at an area hospital.
CBS New York reports that at the Livingston Manor Diner, owned by the victim’s family, candles and flowers symbolize the heartbreak his friends and family feel. Pekny’s family released a statement saying they’re heartbroken by his loss, but grateful for the community’s outpouring of love and support.
The death is the latest in a string of tragedies blamed on faulty gender-reveal devices in recent years.
A Michigan man was killed earlier this month when he was struck by shrapnel from a gender-reveal cannon being used at a baby shower, authorities said.
Another gender-reveal device sparked a September 2020 wildfire that burned thousands of acres in Southern California.
In 2019, a grandmother-to-be was killed at a home in rural Iowa when a gender-reveal explosive device blew up.