Emiliano Sala plane found on seabed in English Channel

Elena Summers
February 4, 2019

The missing plane carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot has been found, the search co-ordinator and air investigators said on Sunday.

The debris of a plane that went off the radar over the English Channel with Cardiff City's newly-signed striker Emiliano Sala has been reportedly found.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch are at the site to recover the plane.

Based on analysis of ROV video footage, the AAIB investigators on board the vessel concluded that the object is wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft, registration N264DB.

It was not immediately clear if the body found was that of Sala or his pilot, David Ibbotson, 59.

Shipwreck hunter David Mearns led the private search that was looking for the aircraft in an area of four square miles.

Sala's distraught dad told local broadcaster Crónica TV that "he can not believe it".

A further statement is expected to be made on Monday morning, with the families of both men having been informed by authorities of the latest developments.

The footballer went missing over the English Channel on January 21, as he was heading to Cardiff from the French city of Nantes, where he played for the first division club of the same name.

The official search operation was called off on January 24 after Guernsey's harbor master, Captain David Barker, said "the chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote".

Horacio was the only member of the Sala family to stay behind in Argentina as the others rushed to France to try to help with the search.

A privately-funded search operation is yet to announce the exact location of the wreckage, although the floor of the western Channel is generally 200 to 400 feet deep.

According to BBC (UK), marine specialist David Mearns, who is in charge of the private search revealed that the plane's wreckage was located off Guernsey. The player had only signed for the Premier League club for £15million a couple of days prior, and was taking care of a few matter in his pervious location before making the move.

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