Many are still heartbroken over the recent death of Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang (冯伟衷).
For those that don’t know, the 28-year-old was enrolled in the military service as an armament technician. He was diagnosing a fault in a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer when the lowered gun barrel injured him.
Mothership Singapore reported that Singapore’s Chief of Army Goh Si Hou and Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong held a press conference at the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)’s headquarters to shed some light on Pang’s unfortunate death.
1. What is a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer?
It’s a Singapore-made armoured vehicle with an artillery gun mounted on it. There are typically 4 crew in charged of manning it: a commander, a driver, an ammo loader and a charge loader.
2. What does an armament technician do?
They are tasked at handling maintenance and repair works. Their job scoop involves “troubleshoot faults or issues with weapons and other equipment” before fixing them for safe usage.
3. What is the standard operating procedure?
- The command is given to lower the barrel,
- A verbal warning is given,
- The commander of the gun inside the cabin will check and clear the cabin, and
- The button (located inside the vehicle) is then pressed to lower the gun barrel.
4. How did the accident happened?
As per Goh’s statement, Pang was in the Howitzer vehicle with 2 other personnel (another technician and a gun technician commander) when it took place. Pang was unable to escape when the gun barrel was lowered. As a result, he was “caught between the end of the gun barrel and the interior of the Howitzer” before being crushed.
5. Were the other 2 personnel injured?
The short answer is no. Although Pang’s commander and fellow technician were in the cabin, it is believed that they weren’t in harm’s way when the gun barrel was lowered.
6. Why are NS men allowed to handle such dangerous weapons?
According to Goh, this isn’t Pang’s first time working on a Howitzer vehicle. He revealed that it was actually the actor’s 7th round of reservist training (5 were high-key while 2 were low-key).
7. Pang’s case is the 4th Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) fatality in 18 months. WTF?!
- 19th January 2019 – Pang’s incident with the Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer.
- 3rd November 2018 – Full-time national serviceman (NSF) Liu Kai died from his injuries after a Bionix vehicle reversed into his Land Rover.
- 30th April 2018 – Dave Lee died from heat stroke.
- 15th September 2017 – 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Gavin Chan was “ejected from a vehicle and suffered significant injuries” during a training exercise.
Our deepest condolences to Pang’s family and close friends.