Sabah Fire and Rescue Department director Nordin Pauzi today said that search and rescue (SAR) teams are doing their best and hoping to find and recover the remains of the earthquake that rocked the city of Ranau here by Sunday.

Nordin, in an interview with Singapore news portal The Strait Times was quoted as saying that the focus of the SAR team would be on the mobilisation of manpower and logistics using helicopters.

“Hopefully, we are able to complete the SAR mission in seven trips. So far, four helicopter trips have made seven trips to Mount Kinabalu starting 8am,” he said.

A total of 55 officers from various government agencies including the Fire and Rescue department, Armed Forces, Civil Defence department (JPAM), police Generation Operations Force (PGA) and mountain guides have been deployed for the mission.

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“Since we have mobilised recovery efforts in full force, we hope to transport the remains to the airport by evening.

“Four bodies were collected from Paka today. We would then make an ascend to Laban Rata to continue the search at a higher spot.

Nordin also said the number of helicopter trips that could be carried out were limited due to weight restrictions.

“When travelling at high altitude, we can only transport a minimal number of officers to the spots.

“Our team are faced with various challenges and one of them is some of the victims might be in hard-to-reach locations. We have sent fully equipped experts to do the job,” he said.

The devastation created a media frenzy in Singapore, especially when it involved a large group of students and teachers from three schools on a field trip to Mount Kinabalu.

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