KOTA KINABALU: A 45-year-old man has died from altitude sickness after a climb up Mount Kinabalu in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah.
In a statement issued on Tuesday (Apr 25), Sabah Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Christina Liew said that the man’s death is believed to have been caused by acute mountain sickness (AMS).
According to Ms Liew, Alexzander Kueh Check Boo was climbing the mountain with his 35-year-old wife, Ng Wee Peo on Monday when the latter complained of a headache and breathing difficulties at 9pm. The couple had reached Panalaban, a mid-point rest stop of their climb.
“The Mountain Search and Rescue Team team gave (the wife) oxygen required for first aid,” said Ms Liew, adding that rescuers brought her down the mountain using a stretcher.
However, Mr Kueh also had breathing difficulties on the way down to the entrance of the climbing trail at the Timpohon Gate.
“At about 2am (on Tuesday), two kilometres away from Timpohon Gate, the husband experienced difficulty breathing and muscle cramps. He was subsequently carried via stretcher to Timpohon,” said Ms Liew, according to the statement.
“Based on the symptoms, AMS is believed to be the cause,” she said, adding that both victims were sent to the district hospital for further treatment.
According to Ms Liew, Mr Kueh was pronounced dead at 4.30am on Tuesday at the hospital. She added that the wife’s condition has stabilised following her recovery from AMS.
Ms Liew said that Sabah Parks, under her ministry, has been asked to assist the deceased’s family wherever necessary. Sabah Parks is a conservation-based statutory body empowered with managing, preserving and protecting the national parks and reserves in the state.
She also advised future climbers to be more prepared mentally and physically before attempting a climb up Mount Kinabalu.
At a height of 4,095 metres, Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia.