Yesterday night, Singaporean son and actor Aloysius Pang succumbed to his injuries after four days in high dependency unit and ICU.
He had been repairing the Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer when the the gun barrel was lowered and crushed him.
This afternoon, MINDEF explained the circumstances that led to his eventual demise based on preliminary findings, chaired by Chief of Defence Force LG Melvyn Ong, together with Chief of Army MG Goh Si Hou, Commander CSSCOM (Combat Service Support Command) COL Terry Tan, Secretary of the Armed Forces Council and Director of Manpower Lee Chung Wei and Chief Army Medical Officer Colonel (Dr) Edward Lo.
Aloysius Was Called In Due to a Suspected Fault in the Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer
Aloysius, together with another technician, was called in to diagnose and repair a gun due to a suspected fault in the howitzer. A detachment commander tagged along with them.
Just think of the detachment commander as a driver of a car, and Aloysius, together with his teammate, are the mechanics of the car.
In order to diagnose the fault, the gun barrel has to be lowered. As the end of the gun barrel extends into the cabin, there would be movement within the cabin when it moves up or down.
Here’s a video showing the movement:
As the gun barrel moves down, the end of the gun barrel would move up.
Aloysius was unfortunately caught between the end of the gun barrel and therefore suffered “crush injuries”.
The cabin, according to MG Goh, is “typically sufficient for our artillery operators as well as our technicians to be able to operate within…”
SOP When Gun Barrel is Moving
For the uninitiated, SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedure, and is something that soldiers have to follow religiously in order to perform any task.
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In this case, the SOP for anyone to lower the gun barrel is “a command to be given to lower the barrel” followed by a “verbal warning” and finally, the commander has to “check clear” (i.e. to check visually) before the gun barrel can be lowered.
Which now leads to the many questions that haven’t been answered, and would most likely be investigated by the COI.
- Was Aloysius’ movement restricted or blocked when the gun barrel was moving?
- Was the SOP followed thoroughly, and if so, why would the accident still occur?
- It’ll take about nine to ten seconds for the gun barrel to be fully lowered; why wasn’t there enough time for Aloysius to move out of the way?
SAF Training to Temporarily Stop
An “army-wide safety timeout” has been imposed, which means all field training would not be carried out.
According to MG Goh, “Because of the nature of the incident, we also called for an immediate pause for all maintenance-related works for both New Zealand and in Singapore…We have called for an army-wide safety timeout in order to allow our units time to review the safety processes and also to review the training tempo.”
In addition, the training tempo would also be reviewed to assess if the it could be lowered. However, that “will not affect operations, and soldiers and troops on deployment.”
The tempo refers to the duration, intensity and frequency of existing training.
Fake News Has Already Started Circulating
If you’ve received this WhatsApp message on your phone…
…delete it immediately, and tell the sender not to forward the message to other people.
That is obviously fake—remember, Aloysius sustained crush injuries. A chamber explosion at that range would not be a crush injury.
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