Search teams in Cameroon are still struggling to find the cockpit voice recorder from a crashed Kenya Airways Boeing 737-800, amid concerns that location aids on the device are no longer functioning.
The aircraft came down in a swamp shortly after take-off from Douala in heavy rain on 5 May, killing all 115 people on board. While the flight-data recorder was retrieved early in the investigation, the recovery personnel have been unable to locate the CVR.
Eight pumps are being used in an attempt to drain water from the impact crater, a process which has been hampered by heavy rain. The latest search effort, involving more than 40 people, resumed on 12 June.
"It took about 3h to drain the crater enough to allow for the CVR search exercise to start," says Kenya Airways, adding there was "little success" in locating the device.
The carrier says there are concerns that, 40 days since the accident, the location aids on the CVR will have stopped operating. "Earlier on the Kenya Airways investigation team could not pick the 'pinger' signal from the CVR," says the airline. "A possible cause for this could be that the 30-day lifespan of the battery has lapsed."
Recovery teams have managed to remove one of the CFM International CFM56 powerplants from the site, as well as additional engine components.