28-Year-Old Singaporean Actor Dies After Being Crushed During Mandatory Military Service
Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang died on Wednesday, after being crushed during a military training exercise in New Zealand. He was 28.
Pang’s death was confirmed on Wednesday by Singapore’s Ministry of Defense, who wrote in a statement that the actor, who was serving as an armament technician, passed away at 8:45 p.m. local time at Waikato Hospital in New Zealand.
Before his death, Pang was carrying out repairs on a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer, a large motorized weapon, and as the gun barrel was lowered, the actor’s chest and abdomen were crushed, according to the Washington Post.
Following the accident, Pang was hospitalized and “underwent a number of surgeries to treat his injuries,” according to the Defense Ministry. Following the “surgical attempts to repair [his] damaged organs,” Pang was put on life support, before he ultimately passed away.
The Defense Ministry also announced that an independent committee would be organized to investigate the incident.
In Singapore, military service is compulsory. All male citizens are required to serve for two years as part of the National Service, beginning around the time they are 18. After completing their full-time service, male citizens can still be called to serve a maximum of 40 days of service annually.
Pang had already completed his full-time service and had a rank of corporal first class.
Before his death, the actor starred in the 2016 film Young & Fabulous and also appeared in television series The Truth Seekers and C.L.I.F.
Pang’s last social media posts came earlier this month, as he shared with his followers that he had to “serve our country” in New Zealand.
“2018 flew by in a jiffy,” he wrote on New Year’s Day. “Unfortunately, my 2019 will start off with me flying to New Zealand for 3 weeks due to reservist. I’ll be back in action soon.”
Days later he added, “Off to serve our country. Back at the end of the month! May not be able to post much when I’m there so 等我回来 yeah =) “
After hearing of Pang’s injury, his family flew to New Zealand, although according to the Washington Post, his older brother Kenny did not have a chance to speak with him before his death.
“He’s the precious of our family. He’s the youngest. He’s the most loved,” Kenny said after returning to Singapore on Thursday, according to the outlet. “To reciprocate that … he has also given us all the support and all the love he can.”
Pang’s girlfriend, actress Jayley Woo also shared numerous heartfelt tributes on social media, writing in one, “I did not have the good fortune to become your wife. Let’s get married in the next life,” according to The Straits Times newspaper.
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As a result of Pang’s death, on Thursday, Singapore’s military said they would be modifying their training programs for the foreseeable future.
“This reduction of training tempo … will be enforced for as long as it takes for us to get it right. And we want to do it right, we want to do it safe for every activity, we want to do it right every time,” Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong said during a briefing, according to The New Straits Times.
Pang’s body has since been brought home to Singapore, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Friday.
A military funeral will be held for the actor, and a cremation ceremony will be held for Pang at Mandai Crematorium on Sunday, according to the statement.
NoonTalk Media, Pang’s Singapore agency, also shared on Facebook that fans of the actor will be able to pay their respects over the weekend, following a private wake for the family on Saturday morning.