The search for missing airman Corrie McKeague at a landfill site came to a halt today after the excavator broke down.
The RAF gunner’s mother Nicola Urquhart made the announcement on the Find Corrie Facebook page.
She wrote: “The search team were stood down first thing this morning as the excavator has broken down.
“Work will hopefully resume on Monday.”
It could take specialist search teams another eight weeks to search the landfill site in Milton, Cambridgeshire.
Police said the work will be a ‘considerable task’ as the area identified is more than 920 square metres of waste down to a maximum depth of eight metres.
Meanwhile Corrie’s father Martin McKeague made a second visit to the tip on Thursday.
He said the search officers have made ‘incredible progress’.
Writing on Facebook, Martin said: “I’m humbled by their efforts, and the words to describe how indebted we are to these people escape me.
“It was a very emotional day for us and it’s not getting any easier.
“I can’t believe the incredible progress this team has made from last week to this week.”
RAF gunner Corrie was last seen in the early hours of September 24 following a night out with friends in Bury St Edmunds.
He was last seen going into a loading bay, known as the ‘horseshoe’, which contains waste bins.
Suffolk Police recently revealed that the bin removed from where he was last seen was 10 times heavier than they were first told.
Nicola is also due to visit the tip so she can ‘feel close to him’.
She is expected to be joined at the landfill site by her husband David and Corrie’s brothers Makeyan, 25, and Darroch, 21.