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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

German woman falls to her death from Mt Kinabalu summit

Rescuers bringing down Poulsen’s body at the Mount Kinabalu summit.

Rescuers bringing down Poulsen’s body at the Mount Kinabalu summit.

KUNDASANG: The hope for a spectacular sunrise view from the top of Mount Kinabalu turned tragic for a German tourist when she plunged 30m down a steep granite slope.

Victoria Poulsen, 22, was believed to have died instantly after falling from the 4,095m point of Low’s Peak at about 6am yesterday.

An exchange student in Xiamen University, China, she was said to have stepped beyond a rope fence and onto an area of loose rocks on the summit, Sabah Parks protection and enforcement unit chief Thomas Yusop said.

He said 27 Sabah Park rangers, who rushed up to the summit and arrived at the scene at 8am, took three hours to pull up Poulsen’s body from the place where she had fallen down.

Then they made the trek back to the Timpohon Gate at the mountain base, arriving at 5.05pm.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said he was awaiting a full report on the tragic case.

He declined to comment further, saying: “I do not wish to speculate on any information that has not been verified.”

A guide, who was among those on the summit, said there were at least 20 people on Low’s Peak at that time.

“It is a very small space and people would be jostling at the rope fence to get the best sunrise photo,” he said.

“She went beyond the fence and suddenly we heard this loud rumble like rocks falling. It was then we realised she had fallen down the slope.”

He said the guide, who had accompanied Poulsen and four other climbers of different nationalities, immediately scrambled to the spot where she had fallen.

Poulsen’s male companion was present, too.

“She had severe injuries in the back, neck and legs,” said the guide.

Mountain guides immediately alerted Sabah Parks official at the Kinabalu Park headquarters.

A Kinabalu Park search and rescue team was rushed up to the summit while staff at the Sutera Sanctuary Lodges and Mountain Torq also gave a helping hand.

Mountain Torq is the operator of Via Ferrata mountain trekking near the summit.

Tags / Keywords: Sport , hiking , death


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