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Police searching for plane with Cardiff City footballer onboard find 'a number of floating objects' in water

Emiliano Sala is Cardiff City’s record signing, having put pen to paper on a contract with the club at the weekend.

Updated Jan 22nd 2019, 4:55 PM

Nantes v Rennes - Ligue 1 - Stade de la Beaujoire Source: Anthony Bibard/Imago/PA Images

POLICE CARRYING OUT the search for the missing light aircraft that had British Premier League club Cardiff City’s record new signing, Argentina-born striker Emiliano Sala, onboard have found a number of objects floating in the water. 

Sala, signed by Cardiff on Saturday from French club Nantes for a club record fee of £15 million, was flying to Cardiff aboard a small plane that went missing around 20 kilometres north of the island of Guernsey.

In an update just before 5pm, Guernsey Police said that during the course of the 15-hour search, “a number of floating objects have been seen in the water”.

“We have been unable to confirm whether any of these are from the missing aircraft,” police said. 

We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim.

Police have now suspended the search and said that the current plan is for it to resume at sunrise tomorrow. 

Earlier 

Guernsey is a British island just off the coast of France.

Police earlier said said lifeboats and helicopters had searched for several hours for the plane, which had two people on board, without success.

“The search was terminated at 2am, with all search and rescue assets being stood down, due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility,” the statement said.

Helicopters from the British and French coastguard joined renewed efforts this morning to find the plane which is thought to have crashed.

Police said that conditions during the search this morning were calmer, but that visibility was quickly deteriorating.

“UK authorities have been calling airfields on the south coast to see if it landed there. So far we have no confirmation it did,” it said.

Search continues. Decision at sunset about overnight search.

“We are very concerned by the latest news that a light aircraft lost contact over the Channel last night,” Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman said earlier. 

We are awaiting confirmation before we can say anything further. We are very concerned for the safety of Emiliano Sala.

Sala, 28, who had been at Nantes since 2016 and had scored 12 league goals this season, had signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with relegation-threatened Cardiff subject to receiving international clearance.

The French club has already said it will postpone its upcoming game away at Entente SSG.

When he put pen to paper at Cardiff on Saturday, Sala said in a statement: “I’m very happy to be here. It gives me great pleasure and I can’t wait to start training, meet my new team-mates and get down to work.

“For me it feels special (to be the club’s record signing). I have come here wanting to work and to help my team-mates and the club.”

© – AFP 2019 

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