No inquest into the death of Aloysius Pang in New Zealand

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No inquest into the death of Aloysius Pang in New Zealand
No inquest into the death of Aloysius Pang in New Zealand

There will be no inquest into the death of Aloysius Pang Wei Chong, 冯伟衷, a Singaporean actor who died while on reservist training in New Zealand.

Aloysius Pang was killed on 23 Jan 2019 where he was participating in Exercise Thunder Warrior, at Waiouru Training Area, New Zealand.

A report from Coroner Debra Bell said the police had not treated Aloysius Pang’s death as suspicious.

As a result, she said it was unlikely the Attorney-General would ask for an inquest.

The New Zealand Defence Force ruled out an internal inquiry of its own, however it said it would help Singapore’s investigation, which is expected to be completed in the next couple of months.

The full Coroner’s report can be found here.

The report contains details such as Aloysius’s full name , gender and date of birth.

The place of death and cause of death is also listed, which says the direct cause was “Blunt trauma; mechanical recoil equipment.”

The next part of the report contains the circumstances of death, which reads:

Mr Pang Wei Chong was a member of the Singapore military and was in NZ on training deployment. He was at the Waiouru army training facility where he was engaged in the maintenance of large field guns. 

On 19 January 2019, he was completing repair work inside a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer at the Waiouru training area. He subsequently sustained injuries to his abdomen area.

On 20 January 2019, he underwent surgery at Waikato Hospital to repair a ruptured left diaphragm and remove dead bowel tissue. On 21 and 23 January 2019, further operations were conducted. 

His condition deteriorated and he passed away on 24 January 2019.

The last section lists the reason for Coroner Debra Bell’s decision.

Pursuant to section 19 of the Visiting Forces Act 2004, a coroner must not open an inquiry unless directed to do so by the New Zealand Attorney General. The Attorney General was advised of the death on 24 January 2019. The New Zealand police have not treated his death as suspicious and therefore it is unlikely that the Attorney General will direct an inquiry. The Singapore Army is conducting its own Inquiry.

The report was signed at Hamilton on 28 February 2019 by Coroner Debra Bell.

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