LONDON: Wreckage from a plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala has been discovered off Guernsey 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. Investigators have said that one body had been invisible inside the wreckage.
David Mearns, who led a privately-funded search for the aircraft, said: “All I will say is that there is a substantial amount of wreckage on the seabed.
“We located the wreckage of the plane on the seabed at a depth of about 63m within the first couple of hours [of searching].”
He said the plane was identified by sonar, before a submersible with cameras was sent underwater and was able to confirm it was the plane.
“They saw the registration number and the biggest surprise is that most of the plane is there.”
The two families have been notified by police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch is working on how to recover the plane.
Cardiff had signed Sala for a club record of £15m and he was due to start training last month.
The 28-year-old striker and Mr Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, were travelling from Nantes, where he had previously played, when the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers.
An official search operation was called off on 24 January after Guernsey’s harbour master said the chances of survival were “extremely remote”. Cushions believed to be from the plane were found on a beach near Surtainville, on France’s Cotentin Peninsula, last week.