Gender-reveal party device explodes killing father-to-be

·1-min read

A father-to-be has been killed after a device he was building for his baby's gender reveal party accidentally exploded, police have said.

Christopher Pekny, 28, died in the blast on Sunday which occurred in the town of Liberty, around 100 miles northwest of New York City.

His brother Michael Pekny, 27, was also injured in the tragic incident, officials said.

The device under construction was not going to be the final product to be used for the gender reveal, but just the prototype, police officer Steven Nevel told NBC News.

"It wasn't meant to harm anyone," Mr Nevel said. "It was just an innocent prop for a gender reveal that went horribly wrong."

With the rise of social media, more new parents have opted for elaborate stunts to reveal the gender of their baby during pregnancy.

Some of the stunts involve incendiary devices or smoke bombs, typically with blue smoke to show the baby will be a boy or pink smoke for a girl.

Last year, a firefighter in California died fighting a massive week-long blaze, known as the El Dorado Fire, which started during a gender reveal party.

And in October 2019, 56-year-old Iowa resident Pamela Kreimeyer was killed by debris from an explosion at a gender reveal party.

"We've seen these (accidents) happening around the country and 'don't do it' is the only thing I can say," Mr Nevel said.