Actor Aloysius Pang succumbs to injuries sustained during military reservist training in New Zealand

Photo: Aloysius 冯伟衷 / Facebook
Photo: Aloysius 冯伟衷 / Facebook

Just a couple of days after doctors assured that his condition was stable, local TV actor Aloysius Pang passed away at 8:45pm on Wednesday night in New Zealand. He was 28 years of age.

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) confirmed the tragic news late last night, extending condolences to his family and promising to render support to them in their time of loss. Arrangements will be made by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to transport Pang’s body back home.

An Armament Technician from the 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery, Corporal First Class (National Service) Pang was part of Exercise Thunder Warrior at the Waiouru Training Area in New Zealand. The reservist serviceman had been carrying out repair works with two other SAF personnel inside an artillery vehicle when he sustained injuries to his chest and abdominal areas last Saturday afternoon. In its latest update, Mindef confirmed that the incident took place when the gun barrel of the Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer was lowered.

After getting heli-evacuated to Waikoto Hospital in Hamilton, Pang underwent two surgeries and was assured to be in stable condition by New Zealand doctors as well as Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s chief of trauma Dr. Teo Li Tserng, who was tasked by the Singapore Armed Forces to monitor the patient. In a statement made on Monday, Dr. Teo mentioned that Pang had been awake, alert, and breathing on his own without the assistance of mechanical ventilation.

But Pang’s condition took a turn for the worse on Tuesday night, and he had to undergo a third surgery before being warded in the intensive care unit. Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen affirmed that Pang’s condition had turned critical — serious enough to require artificial life support of his lungs, kidneys, and heart.

According to Mindef on Wednesday night, surgical attempts were made to repair his damaged organs. Even after the surgery and being placed on artificial life support, Pang succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

“An independent Committee of Inquiry will be convened to investigate the circumstances leading to the incident,” wrote Mindef, adding that a press conference will be held later today to present the preliminary findings.

A familiar face on local Mandarin TV since a boy, the last message he left on social media was an alert to his fans about how they may not hear from him until the end of the month, as he was off to “serve our country”.

Pang’s death would be the second death in the SAF within three months. Last November, a transport operator was killed while operating a Land Rover, which was crushed when an armoured infantry fighting vehicle reversed onto the jeep.

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