KUNDASANG - Efforts to bring down bodies of climbers from Mount Kinabalu have been hampered as some are crushed and pinned under the tonnes of rocks and boulders after Friday's earthquake.
Rescuers, who returned from the scene late 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 had been flown down from the mountain top to the base camp.
The rescuers were also 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 team in the face of social media discussions on how to bring down the remains.
Queen Elizabeth II Hospital director Dr 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.