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Emiliano Sala plane wreckage found on seabed in English Channel

Seabed search for Emiliano Sala starts tomorrow

Wreckage from a plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala has been discovered in the English Channel.

The Piper Malibu N264DB was lost on 21 January on its way from Nantes, France to Cardiff, with the Argentine striker and pilot David Ibbotson on board.

David Mearns, who directed a privately-funded search operation on behalf of the Sala family, said the wreckage was located off Guernsey on Sunday morning.

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

The plane carrying Cardiff’s January signing Sala and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared while flying over the English Channel on January 21.

Guernsey Police stopped looking for Sala and Ibbotson three days later, with officials saying the chance of them being alive was extremely unlikely.

A privately-funded search for the plane subsequently began after a GoFundMe page was started. The team had reduced their search area to just four square miles, with the plane eventually found 24 miles north of Guernsey, after the search had resumed at first light on Sunday.

Sala had joined Cardiff for a club-record fee from French side Nantes on January 19 and Cardiff paid tribute to Sala ahead of Saturday’s match with Bournemouth, the first they had played at home since the plane went missing.

“The wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and piloted by David Ibbotson has been located,” Mearns told Sky News.

“It was located earlier this morning by my crew on board the Morven and, as in agreement with the AAIB as soon as the plane was located and the position was passed to them their vessel, the GO Ocean 3, then moved in over the wreckage and have been conducting ROV (remotely operated vehicle) investigations.

Tributes were paid to Emiliano Sala before kick-off at the Cardiff City Stadium and goalscorer Bobby Reid celebrated his opener by holding up a shirt with a picture of Sala on it.
“The families have been notified by the AAIB and the AAIB will be making a statement tomorrow [Monday] morning.

“This is about the best result we could have hoped for the families but tonight they have heard devastating news and in respect of the families I won’t comment any further about what has happened.

“All I will say about the wreckage is there is a substantial amount of wreckage on the seabed.”

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