Expectant New York Dad Killed While Testing Out Gender Reveal Device

The device's explosion sent 28-year-old Chris Pekny's younger brother Michael to the hospital for emergency surgery after shrapnel ended up in his leg.

A New York dad-to-be wanted to plan an unforgettable gender reveal for his friends and family after he and his fiancée discovered they would have a son. Instead, the device meant to expel colored powder exploded during the test run ahead of the party, killing Chris Pekny, who would have been a first-time dad.

Pekny was 28 years old. The accident also left his younger brother Michael, 27, with shrapnel in his leg and required emergency surgery.

The pair had been working on the device at Pekny’s home in Liberty, and the explosion occurred just before noon Sunday.

“We appreciate the overwhelming display of love and support you all have shown,” his family said on Facebook, after friends and family left candles and flowers outside of the Pekny family business, the Robin Hood Diner.

State police are investigating but believe there was “no malicious intent” in the tragic accident.