SINGAPORE: Singapore actor Aloysius Pang sustained injuries to his chest and abdominal areas while carrying out repair works inside a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer at Waiouru Training Area in New Zealand.
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) revealed this on Monday (Jan 21), adding that the 28-year-old underwent abdominal surgery on Saturday evening. The surgery was completed at 11.40pm (Singapore time).
"A follow-up relook surgery which was planned for was successfully completed at 11am (Singapore time) today (Monday). A medical team from Singapore is working with the New Zealand team to provide the best possible care for CFC (NS) Pang," said MINDEF in a media release.
Pang was on reservist when the incident happened on Saturday at 2.05pm Singapore time.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) operationally ready national serviceman, who holds the rank of Corporal First Class (National Service), was participating in Exercise Thunder Warrior.
MINDEF had said on Sunday that Pang was in a high dependency unit after undergoing surgery at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton.
Arrangements have been made for Pang's next-of-kin to be flown to New Zealand.
The actor's mother has spoken to him in hospital, said MINDEF, adding that his father and brother will arrive this evening (Singapore time). They were accompanied by family liaison officers from the SAF.
An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the incident.
St John New Zealand, a charity which provides medical response, confirmed that it had responded to the incident with an ambulance and a helicopter, and transported Pang to Waikato Hospital in "critical condition".
NO SET TIME TO BRING PANG BACK, SAYS DOCTOR
Giving an update on Pang's condition, Dr Teo Li Tserng, Tan Tock Seng Hospital's chief of trauma and acute care surgery, said that the actor is doing well. He is currently in stable condition and breathing on his own.
Dr Teo said he had been asked by the SAF to help monitor Pang's case.
"Currently Aloysius is in a stable condition, his vitals are stable, and he's awake, alert and he's breathing on his own, not requiring any mechanical ventilation," said Dr Teo.
He said that authorities did not have a set time to bring Pang back to Singapore yet.
"What is most important is that he must be stable enough for us to make the trip back, and his condition must be well enough for us to try to bring him back," said Dr Teo."So we have not set a time, but rest assured, once he's stable and once he's well enough we will do what we can to take him back as soon as we can."
Pang works with Mediacorp on a project basis. He has been cast as the male lead in Channel 8 drama My One in a Million, due to start filming in February.
He will also appear in Toggle Originals From Beijing to Moscow, a 13-episode series slated for release on Toggle in June.
Exercise Thunder Warrior is an artillery live-firing exercise held at the Waiouru Training Area in New Zealand.
The annual exercise has been conducted since 1997.
This year's exercise, which runs from Jan 5 to Feb 2, involves more than 500 personnel from the 268th and 24th Battalions, Singapore Artillery.
PANG'S MANAGER HEADED TO NEW ZEALAND
Pang's manager Dasmond Koh said in a press conference on Monday that he would fly to New Zealand that evening.
He understood that Pang was in "stable condition" after having undergone surgery, said the co-founder of artist management company NoonTalk Media.
Something had fallen on Pang and injured him, Koh said, adding that he was unable to provide more detailed information as investigations were still ongoing.
The 46-year-old Koh, who is a former Mediacorp actor himself, said it would be "difficult" for Pang to continue participating in the filming of My One in a Million.
“I would want him to at least rest for six months. Judging from this I don’t think he’ll be fit to fly back anytime soon. Three weeks. Or a month. With that said plus the period for him to properly recover, a good six months will be good. Anything shorter will be a blessing," Koh said.
In a statement on Monday evening, a Mediacorp spokesperson announced that Pang's role in the drama would be recast.
“Aloysius's manager has informed us that Aloysius will need to focus on his recovery over a period of time.
"Aloysius is a highly talented and professional actor and a joy to work with. Our doors will be open for him when he is ready. We look forward to his full and speedy recovery," the statement read.