Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Body found in wreckage of plane carrying football player Sala, investigators say

Body found in wreckage of plane carrying football player Sala, investigators say

The Piper Malibu N264DB carrying Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, was discovered off the coast of Alderney in the English Channel on Sunday evening - nearly two weeks after it disappeared.

A day later, Air Live reported that, following an investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), video footage showed a body present within the plane's wreckage, belonging to one of the the plane's crew, which consisted of Sala and the aircraft's pilot, David Ibbotson.

Emiliano and pilot David Ibbotson are both now missing, presumed dead, after their plane went missing two weeks ago.

No timeframe has been set to decide whether to recover the wreck of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson, investigators have said.

The initial search for Sala, carried out by Guernsey Police, was called off after four days.

On Monday, marine scientist David Mearns, who co-ordinated the discovery of the plane, said it was "imperative" the aircraft was lifted to provide answers to the victims' families.

"I can not believe it". A bad dream. I am desperate'.

It had disappeared on January 21 as it travelled from Nantes in France to Cardiff.

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According to the Evening Standard, Sala put Nala in a kennel in Nantes before boarding the plane which now lies on the seabed near the Channel Island of Guernsey.

But Sala's family launched a crowd-funding campaign for a private search, which raised over 300,000 euros.

"If they are doing it now, they're doing it with a robotic vehicle, operated remotely by a pilot and connected to the ship with a cable".

"Regardless of the results, we will not be making a further statement until the families have been informed". The forward's family started a crowdfunding appeal to continue the search, and high-profile figures such as Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, among many others, contributed to the initiative.

Speaking from Argentina, Sala's dad Horacio said: "The hope is over".

Although the seabed search on Sunday was conducted in conjunction with British air accident investigators, they have not said if they plan to raise the wreckage to the surface.

At Cardiff's match against Bournemouth on Saturday, Sala's photograph appeared on the front cover of the matchday programme.

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said Sala would have been "really proud" of the team after they won 2-0 in their first home match since the plane vanished.

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