A 28-year-old father-to-be from New York has died after the device he was building to reveal the gender of his child exploded, according to authorities.
The incident occurred on Sunday, with New York State Police responding after an explosion was reported at a home in the town of Liberty shortly before noon. The blast killed Christopher Pekny, while also injuring his 27-year-old brother, Michael.
An investigation is underway that involves both the state police and their bomb disposal unit.
It’s not clear from early reports what type of device Pekny was putting together, nor what caused it to explode. At the moment there are “no charges to be filed,” according to a spokesperson from the NYSP.
Though rare, this is not the first time a gender-reveal stunt has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
In 2017 a U.S. border patrol agent fired a gunshot that sparked a wildfire in Arizona, causing millions of dollars of damages in the process.
In 2019, a 56-year-old grandma was killed after she was struck by a flying piece of debris from a gender-reveal device exploding. The family had gathered for the purpose of experimenting with different kinds of explosives so they could broadcast the announcement on social media.
Also last year a pyrotechnic device used for a gender-reveal thing caused the massive El Dorado wildfire in California that torched houses (forcing hundreds to evacuate), almost 20,000 acres of land, and also caused the death of a firefighter who was battling the blaze.