Emiliano Sala: Attempts to salvage plane crash wreckage

Emiliano Sala: Attempts to salvage plane crash wreckage

Emiliano Sala and Pilot David Ibbotson have been missing since their plane went off from English radar.

A search on Sunday found the Piper Malibu plane on the seabed off Guernsey, nearly two weeks after it went missing. "If we are successful, we will consider the feasibility of recovering the aircraft wreckage", an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) spokesperson said in a statement.

After being sold by French soccer club FC Nantes to the Premier League's Cardiff City F.C., the Argentine athlete was preparing to move to Wales to start this new stage of his career.

Footage of the plane was filmed at a depth of 220ft yesterday by a remotely operated vehicle from the Air Accident Investigation Board vessel Geo Ocean III. The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot, passenger and police.

The official search was called off after four days but Sala's friends, family and fans clubbed together to hire a private search to continue with renowned shipwreck hunter David Mearns.

James Hotson, a spokesman for the AAIB, earlier said on Tuesday that analysis of the plane in situ was still ongoing.

The wreckage was discovered on Sunday (Monday NZT).

The image of the plane shows the rear left side of the fuselage, including part of the aircraft registration, N264DB.

Emiliano had been travelling from Nantes - where his previous club is based - to meet up with his new teammates at Cardiff City, after signing a £15 million transfer deal from the French club. The lorry driver told TV reporters in his native Argentina: "We have to recover it as soon as possible to find out what happened and be sure about something".

"I can't believe it".

"Time is of the essence when you're talking about a body, so really it's imperative that they proceed with the recovery of the plane and the body", David Mearns said.

"Had that not happened, I don't think anybody would have searched for the plane", Mearns said.

More than £300,000 was raised through a GoFundMe page in order to launch the privately-funded search for Sala's aircraft. "They are very keen but bad weather may delay that operation", he went on. This is what they wanted us to do, we've achieved it and that's the best we could have hoped for - the best outcome.

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