Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Wreckage of plane carrying missing Emiliano Sala found

Wreckage of plane carrying missing Emiliano Sala found

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.

"I can not believe it".

"I communicated with [search teams] every day, but since I do not have WhatsApp it's hard to call them or call me".

Earlier this week, seat cushions likely to have come from the plane carrying Sala and Ibbotson were found on a beach in France, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny and Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan have both shown their support for the campaign, with Sala's family arriving in Guernsey a week ago ahead of the private search.

Even if investigators are able to analyse the wreckage up-close, the reason for the plane ending up on the bottom of the Channel may not be established.

Sala was being flown on the evening of January 21 from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff after being signed by the Welsh capital's Premier League team. His plane disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands.

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He and his pilot David Ibbotson were flying to Cardiff after the Argentinian striker made a visit over to say goodbye to his former teammates at Nantes.

An online appeal started by Sala's agent had raised £324,000 (371,000 euros) for the private search, which Mr Mearns offered to help with.

David Mearns, on behalf of the footballer's family, confirmed the wreckage had been located.

Mearns also took to social media to confirm the spot the vessel located the plane's debris with a short message.

"Wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and piloted by David Ibbotson was located early this morning by the FPV MORVEN", Mearns wrote on a Twitter account, referencing the survey vessel.

"The ROV carried out a further search of the area overnight, but did not identify any additional pieces of wreckage".

Three days after the disappearance, Guernsey police called off the search, saying the chances of survival were "extremely remote".

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