KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Rescuers on Malaysia’s highest mountain were searching Saturday for 17 climbers missing in a magnitude-5.9 earthquake that sent rocks and boulders raining down the trekking routes. Two others were killed and 20 injured.
The quake Friday was centered northwest of Ranau district in Sabah state on Borneo island.
Two bodies were recovered from the 4,095-meter (13,435-foot) Mount Kinabalu late Friday, including a 30-year-old local guide and a 12-year-old female Singaporean student, district police official Farhan Lee Abdullah said.
Most of the climbers descended the mountain early Saturday, but 17 are still missing, he said.
Twenty of the climbers suffered injuries including broken limbs and one is in a coma, he said.
Based on police records, the 17 missing include eight Singaporeans, and one each from China, the Philippines and Japan. The rest are Malaysians.
Farhan said some 60 rescuers and four helicopters had been dispatched to comb the mountain. Loose rocks and boulders that fell during the quake blocked part of the main route, he said.
“We will try our best to complete our rescue by today. We pray for the best,” he said.
The quake also damaged roads and buildings, including schools and a hospital on Sabah’s west coast.
State Tourism Minister Masidi Manjun tweeted that it also broke one of the twin rock formations on the mountain known as the “Donkey’s Ears.”
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