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Friday, 4 February, 2000, 18:41 GMT
Divers search for Kenya Airways clues

Black box is retrieved Diving club members found the devices


Search teams have resumed their search on Saturday for clues to the cause of the crash of the Kenya Airways off Ivory Coast on Sunday with 179 people on board.

Divers have already recovered one of the "black boxes" - the flight data recorder - and are hoping to locate the second device, a cockpit voice recorder.


Kenya Airways - survivors and victims
169 people believed to have died
Ten survived, including three Nigerians, a Rwandan, a Gambian and a Frenchman
Victims believed to include Kenyans, Britons, Americans, Canadians, Dutch, Japanese, Italians, and Nigerians
The data recorder was brought to the surface around midday on Friday by members of Abidjan's diving club, who also said they saw bodies among the fuselage and debris of the plane.

The plane's fuselage is lying 47 metres (155 feet) below the sea, less than two kilometres (about 1.5 miles) from the shore.

The black boxes are to be sent to France where the information will be analysed.

French troops stationed in Ivory Coast, a former French colony, have been helping the recovery operation.

The Airbus 310 crashed on Sunday just minutes after taking off from Ivory Coast's Abidjan airport, which is on the Atlantic coastline.

Weather problems

More than 80 bodies are reported to have been recovered from the sea but a similar number is still missing. Ten people survived the crash.


Wreckage has drifted up to 30km from the crash site
The plane crashed 3km (two miles) off shore but strong currents, scattering the wreckage along the coast, have hampered the search.

Pieces of the wreckage have been found up to 30km (18 miles) west of Abidjan.

Ivorian officials have admitted that a lack of equipment hindered the rescue operation immediately after the crash.

Routine inspection

Most of the passengers on flight KQ431 were Nigerians although there were passengers from the US, Canada, Japan, western Europe, Kenya and other African states.

Some Nigerian relatives of victims have been flown to Ivory Coast by Kenya Airways. Counsellors and Kenyan navy divers have also been sent to Abidjan.

Peter Wakahia, Kenya's chief air crash investigator, said the pilot and co-pilot were "very highly trained and very highly experienced".

He added that the plane had undergone a routine inspection in mid-January and that there was no reason to suspect the Airbus was not properly maintained.

The airline's managing director, Richard Nyaga said he was unable to discuss the technical aspects of the crash but added that there had been no distress signal from the aircraft.

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See also:
01 Feb 00 |  Sci/Tech
Black box: Key to disaster investigations
02 Feb 00 |  Africa
Ivory Coast concedes lack of equipment
31 Jan 00 |  Africa
Timeline: African air disasters
01 Feb 00 |  Africa
Victims' families to fly to Abidjan
31 Jan 00 |  Africa
Africa plane crash search abandoned
31 Jan 00 |  Africa
Anguish of air crash families
31 Jan 00 |  Africa
Airbus' reliability record
30 Jan 00 |  Africa
Kenyan plane crashes into sea

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