Footballer Sala’s missing plane found: investigators

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London, Feb 4:  The wreckage of a plane carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot has been found two weeks after it disappeared in the English Channel, one of the investigators said on Monday.

Sala, 28, was flying from France to join his new club, Premier League side Cardiff City, when the light aircraft disappeared on January 21 north of the island of Guernsey.

Shipwreck hunter David Mearns, who was hired by the striker’s family after the official rescue effort was called off, said the plane was found on Sunday morning.

“It is broken but most of it is there,” he told BBC radio.

Sala’s father Horacio spoke of his shock from his home in Progreso, Argentina, telling Cronica TV: “I can’t believe it. It’s a bad dream.”

A spokesperson for Britain’s official Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) told AFP: “I can confirm it has been found.” A further statement is expected later on Monday.

Mearns said his private company, Blue Water Recoveries, had found the wreckage before calling in the AAIB to take a closer look.

“They dove with their remotely operated vehicle, that’s a submersible with cameras and lights, and indeed confirmed that it was the plane,” he said.

“They saw the registration number and the biggest surprise to both of us was that most of the plane is there.”

Asked if the bodies of Sala and the British pilot, David Ibbotson, would be inside, he said: “That’s a possibility.”

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