Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Body visible in wreckage of plane carrying soccer player

Body visible in wreckage of plane carrying soccer player

A body has been seen in the plane wreckage of Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson's flight, according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

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.

An underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) surveyed the seabed and confirmed an object was the missing Piper Malibu aircraft, with the registration N264DB visible in a picture of the fuselage released on Monday.

"Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage".

Meanwhile, had earlier reported that Emiliano Sala's missing plane that disappeared with the footballer and pilot David Ibbotson on January 21, while flying from Nantes to Cardiff has been spotted on Sunday, February 3 using hi-tech sonar equipment-with passengers on board assumed dead.

Mr Mearns and his team, working in conjunction with the AAIB, found the remains of the plane within two hours of starting their search.

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

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Guernsey harbourmaster Captain David Barker called their chances of survival "extremely remote", but a number of high-profile football figures and members of the public answered the family's calls to fund a private search operation that has been headed up by Mearns.

Yesterday Mearns tweeted: "The families of Emiliano Sala and (pilot) David Ibbotson have been notified by police".

Emotions also ran high as Nantes paid tribute to their former player Sala earlier on Wednesday in their first game since the Argentine striker went missing.

After having scored 12 goals in 19 league appearances for Nantes, Sala joined Cardiff City for a club record fee of 15 million pounds.

"I communicated with them every day, but since I do not have Whatsapp it's hard to call them or call me".

"Let's hope they can rescue it as soon as possible to find out what happened and have some sort of certainty", Horacio Sala, the footballer's father, told The Associated Press outside the family's home in Progreso, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.

"They kept saying days were going by, and that there had been zero word on Emiliano, or on the plane".

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