Emiliano Sala: Body visible in wreckage of plane, AAIB reports

04 February, 2019, 15:12 | Author: Marlene Myers
  • Cardiff City scarves and jerseys flowers and tributes to Emiliano Sala outside the club's stadium

Following a private search, the plane that was carrying Emiliano Sala has been found at the bottom of the English Channel.

He said the families of Sala and Ibbotson, who was registered as its pilot, have been notified by police.

Before setting off on the search, Mearns told the BBC: "Both vessels are essentially searching with the same type of sonars to give topographic relief and an image of the seabed".

Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, were flying in the single-turbine aircraft from Nantes, in northern France, to Cardiff, in Wales, when it disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands on January 21. "But anyway, they kept saying days were going by, and that there had been zero word on Emiliano, or on the plane", his father said.

Marine scientist David Mearns, the director of Blue Water Recoveries, led a team on the search vessel FPV Morven while the AAIB also sent a team aboard the Geo Ocean III, a specialist vessel commissioned for the task. The plane debris was found yesterday evening following an underwater search.

"They went through various stages of identification through the course of today, and David Mearns confirmed to me that they have now positively identified the wreckage as that of the plane that had been carrying the Argentinian footballer".

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"The image shows the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration", the AAIB said.

At the moment, Sala's family members alongside the pilot's have been contacted regarding the development, as experts are being mobilised to recover the plane wreckage from the scene.

Working jointly with the AAIB, Mr Mearns's ship and another search vessel, the Geo Ocean III, began combing a four square mile area of the channel, 24 nautical miles north of Guernsey.

There was a series of tributes before kick-off with Sala's photograph appearing on the front cover of the matchday programme and the two captains, Sol Bamba and Andrew Surman, laying floral tributes on the halfway line.

At its first home game since the plane disappeared, Cardiff paid tribute to Sala before a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

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