In a press conference held today, Chief of Army Major-General (MG) Goh Si Hou revealed the excruciating details of how local actor Aloysius Pang sustained the injuries that eventually lead to his death yesterday.
An Armament Technician from the 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery, Corporal First Class (National Service) Pang had been involved in an annual Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) exercise in New Zealand’s Waiouru Training Area. Last Saturday afternoon, the 28-year-old had been tasked to repair a suspected fault in the gun barrel of a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer, a mobile cannon developed in Singapore.
Inside the howitzer cabin was Pang, another armament technician, and a gun detachment commander. Somehow, the barrel of the howitzer was lowered (MG Goh states that the cause is still under investigations), and Pang was unable to get out of its way.
“He was caught between the end of the gun barrel and the interior of the (howitzer cabin) and he suffered crush injuries as a result,” clarified MG Goh. Colonel Terry Tan, commander of the Combat Service Support and Command, explained that the gun barrel can only be lowered from within the cabin.
The two other occupants inside the cabin were uninjured.
Mindef also released a video that captures what happens inside the cabin when the howitzer’s gun barrel is lowered. According to MG Goh, technicians such as Pang are trained to move out of the way when the barrel is being lowered. The gun detachment commander would be tasked to inspect the cabin visually first before pushing the button to lower the barrel.
MG Goh asserted that the investigations conducted by an independent Committee of Inquiry will focus on who lowered the gun barrel, how Pang was struck, and if there were any lapses in safety procedures.
Chief Army Medical Officer Colonel (Dr) Edward Lo noted that Pang suffered major trauma injury involving multiple organs.
Following the incident, he was heli-evacuated to Waikoto Hospital, where he underwent two surgeries. On Monday, doctors assured that he was in stable condition, and had been awake, alert and breathing on his own without the assistance of mechanical ventilation.
The next day, his condition turned critical, and surgical attempts were made to repair his damaged organs. He passed away at 8:45pm last night.
Today, tributes and eulogies emerged en masse on social media from his family, friends and colleagues in the showbiz industry, as well as the general public. He had been acting on local Mandarin TV since he was nine-years-old.