A demolition contractor told the inquest into the CTV deaths yesterday that he was frustrated at the efforts of untrained rescuers.
The coroner's inquest is investigating the deaths of victims of the CTV building collapse in February last year which killed 115 people.
"There were some horrible sights. Bodies were being placed in body bags," Alan Edge of Southern Demolition told the inquest.
He said many people had formed human chains on top of the collapsed building to remove debris.
Mr Edge considered this was ineffective and he was frustrated that he was unable to use his heavy machinery.
It was unclear who was in charge. People seemed to obey the most confident sounding person.
Mr Edge was also frustrated when Urban Search and Rescue staff told him not to use his heavy machinery, although at one stage all activity ceased to allow for an amputation.
Mr Edge was cross-examined by the counsel assisting the coroner about his experience in removing people from collapsed buildings.
He acknowledged he had experience in removing rubble, but not bodies or injured people.
He said his digger drivers were so experienced they could wipe a desk clean without scraping it.
"No one was listening to the jokers with common sense and motivation to get people out," Mr Edge said.
Other witnesses have told the inquest that the rescue operation slowed down after USAR staff took over.
Earlier yesterday, city council senior manager Jane Parfitt, the Civil Defence controller on February 22, told the inquest that it took two hours for an engineer to fill out forms at the council offices before he went to the collapsed CTV building, and that was too long.
The engineer had listening equipment, vital to the rescue operation.
Ms Parfitt attributed the delay to tightened health and safety requirements after the Boxing Day earthquake.