Sabah quake: Some bodies 'almost impossible' to bring down, say rescuers

Efforts to bring down bodies of climbers from Mount Kinabalu have been hampered as some are crushed and pinned under tonnes of rocks and boulders after Friday's earthquake. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK 
Efforts to bring down bodies of climbers from Mount Kinabalu have been hampered as some are crushed and pinned under tonnes of rocks and boulders after Friday's earthquake. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK 

KUNDASANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Efforts to bring down bodies of climbers from Mount Kinabalu have been hampered as some are crushed and pinned under tonnes of rocks and boulders after Friday's earthquake.

Rescuers, who returned from the scene late on Saturday, said their helicopters faced difficulty in flying low on the mountain top and had to keep below 10,000 feet.

"Many attempts had to be made to fly out the bodies," said a rescuer. So far, 11 bodies have been flown down from the mountain top to base camp.

The rescuers were concerned that some of the bodies were crushed and pinned under tonnes of rocks and boulders.

The fact that the bodies were pinned underneath loose rocks made it "almost impossible" to retrieve them, one of them said.

"Some of the bodies were buried under the rubble. We can see body parts," explained a member of the search and rescue team in the face of social media discussions on how to bring down the remains.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital director Razak Tambi told reporters that autopsies would be carried out on the bodies on Sunday.

Families of the victims were seen entering the mortuary but the media was kept out.