NY father-to-be killed, brother injured when gender reveal device explodes

LIBERTY, N.Y. — A New York man was killed and his brother wounded on Sunday when a device they were building for a gender-reveal party exploded in a garage.

The explosion claimed the life of 28-year-old Christopher Pekny, who was expecting his first child, and injured his brother, 27-year-old Michael Pekny, WABC reported.

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Troopers responded to a report of an explosion at a home in the Catskills town of Liberty just before noon Sunday, according to a statement issued by the New York State Police.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, but Trooper Steven Nevel told The New York Times that the device being constructed involved “some kind of pipe. The nature of the explosive material used has not been determined.

Peter Pekny Jr., 34, the oldest of the brothers, called the explosion “the freakiest of freak accidents that I could ever imagine,” and confirmed to the Times that Michael Pekny is in stable condition at a Middleton hospital, where doctors were able to repair a damaged knee.

Earlier this month, a 26-year-old Michigan man died after being struck by shrapnel from a small “cannon type device” that exploded during a baby shower.

Peter Pekny Jr. remembered 6-foot, 5-inch Christopher Pekny as a gifted mechanic, who earned the nickname Frankenstein from his coworkers at Liberty Concrete, where he worked as a mason, the Times reported.

“What he picked up and moved around would have taken three people. I’ve seen him pick up engine blocks because they were in the way,” the eldest Pekny brother told the Times.

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