Before Aloysius Pang’s body can be brought home to Singapore, New Zealand authorities are awaiting the green light from the actor’s family to conduct a post-mortem on his body.
Corporal First Class (National Service) Pang’s body is currently being held at Waikato Hospital mortuary. An employee there said they were aware of the ‘urgency about wanting to get him back as soon as possible’. The technician, who declined to be named, added “The coroner has a direction-in-principle to proceed with the post-mortem, (but) they need the nod from the family”.
The 28-year old died on 23rd Jan after succumbing to severe injuries sustained during a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) training exercise in New Zealand four days earlier. He had been conducting repair works inside a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitser — an artillery gun mounted on an armoured chassis — with two other SAF personnel in the Waiouru Training area when the accident happened on 19 Jan.
Pang was sent to the regional trauma centre at Waikoto Hospital where we underwent multiple surgeries to treat his injuries. Unfortunately, the damage was too severe. The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announced on Wednesday evening that Pang had passed away.
The mortuary technician told Channel News Asia that military and police deaths in New Zealand usually fall under the coroner’s jurisdiction. He added that a post-mortem has to be done before the body can be repatriate.
“There’s a specific piece of paper that we need, because I’m not allowed to take photos or blood, or anything like that, until we get the paper,” he said.
Once Pang’s family gives their consent, a two-hour long on-site post-mortem will be conducted, during which the technician will assist the pathologist with the procedure.
The technician added that everything on their side is ‘calm’ and that they’re just waiting for everything else to fall into place before proceeding.
MINDEF said that the SAF will make the necessary arrangements to bring Pang’s body back to be laid to rest.