State Watch

Gender-reveal device explodes, killing expectant father

A New York man died and his brother was injured on Sunday when a small explosive device meant to be used as part of a gender reveal party malfunctioned and exploded.

In a statement, New York State Police said they responded to reports of an explosion in Liberty, N.Y., and found that 28-year-old Christopher Pekny and his brother Michael Pekny, 27, had been building the device at the time of the accident.

Peter Pekny, Christopher and Michael’s older brother, told The Washington Post that Michael Pekny suffered a shattered kneecap in the blast but is expected to fully recover. Christopher Pekny was planning a gender reveal party to celebrate the birth of his first child, according to the Post.

“It has been two nights in a row of not being able to sleep, waiting, hoping to hear that this is all some crazy misunderstanding,” Peter Pekny told the newspaper. “But we all know that’s not the reality here.”

Gender reveal parties have been the source of chaos in recent years, with one being blamed for the 2020 El Dorado Fire in California that injured a dozen people, killed one firefighter, and destroyed 10 buildings.

A man died at a gender reveal party he was attending as a guest earlier this month after a cannon meant to fire a shot into the air instead exploded, showering guests with shrapnel.


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