Local actor Aloysius Pang, who was severely injured during a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) training exercise, has died at the age of 28, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in a statement on Wednesday (23 January) night.
Pang passed away at 8.45pm (Singapore time) at Waikato Hospital, New Zealand, where he was warded in its intensive care unit, following a third operation on Tuesday night.
“Despite surgical attempts to repair damaged organs and putting him on artificial life support, Corporal First Class (National Service) Pang succumbed to the injuries and passed away,” said Mindef.
The actor had sustained injuries to his chest and abdominal areas while carrying out repair works inside a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer at Waiouru Training Area, New Zealand, on Saturday (19 January) afternoon.
He was with two other SAF personnel and was hurt when the gun barrel was lowered, added Mindef.
Pang, an armament technician from the 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery, was participating in Exercise Thunder Warrior at the time of the incident.
In a statement posted on Pang’s official Instagram account on Wednesday night, his family said it had been a “difficult time” for them.
“Every news that were brought upon us since his last (operation) was devastating with little signs of hope on his recovery. We all broke down when the medical team spoke to us that his condition is worsening and we should be prepared for the worst,” said the statement.
“We’re going to lose a brother. And my parents are going to lose their precious son who is only 28.”
Mindef said that an independent Committee of Inquiry will be convened to investigate the circumstances leading to the incident.
A press conference – chaired by the Chief of Defence Force – will be held on Thursday to present the preliminary findings, it added.
The SAF will be making arrangements to bring Pang’s body back to Singapore.
“The Ministry of Defence and the SAF extend their deepest condolences to the family of CFC (NS) Pang and will continue to render assistance and support in their time of loss,” said the ministry.
In ‘very serious condition’ on Wednesday
Minister of Defence Ng Eng Hen had said in a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon that Pang was in a “very serious” condition and needed “artificial life support of his lungs, kidneys, and heart”, following his third operation.
Dr Ng’s updates came after speaking to Dr Teo Li Tserng, chief of trauma and acute care surgery at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, who was flown to New Zealand to assist with Pang’s care.
Prior to Dr Ng’s comments, Mindef had in the morning said that Pang’s condition had “worsened” and was “critical”.
Pang had undergone abdominal surgery on Saturday evening. A planned follow-up relook surgery was successfully completed at 11am on Monday.
On Monday afternoon, he was described by Dr Teo as being alert, in stable condition and “breathing on his own”.
Pang, who is one of three children, was a former child star who propelled to fame after he won Best Newcomer at Mediacorp’s Star Awards in 2015.