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Sala was remembered at yesterday's Cardiff City match. Mark Kerton

Emiliano Sala's missing plane has been found

The footballer and pilot David Ibbotson were the only people on board.

THE TEAM SEARCHING for the missing plane carrying Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala and its pilot David Ibbotson say the wreckage of the plane has been located.

The privately-funded search for the plane began today after the official search for the aircraft was called off last Thursday after an intensive hunt involving planes and boats.

Sala was travelling from Nantes in a light aircraft to join up with his new club Cardiff City on 21 January when the plane went missing close to the Channel Islands.

It vanished from radar around 20 km north of Guernsey. Suspected debris from the plane washed up on the Normandy coastline on Wednesday.

Speaking to Sky News this evening, the marine scientist leading the search David Mearns said the plane was found earlier this morning. 

Mearns said the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was informed of the find and has since been investigating. 

“The plane carrying Emiliano Sala and piloted by David Ibbotson has been located. It was located earlier this morning by my crew on board the Morven and, as in agreement with the AAIB, as soon as the plane was located and the position passed to them their vessel the Geo Ocean III then moved over the wreckage and have been conducting ROV investigations,” Mearns said this evening.

The families have been notified by the AAIB and the AAIB will be making a statement tomorrow morning. This is about the best result we could have hoped for for the families, but tonight they’ve heard devastating news and in respect of the families I won’t comment any further about what has happened.

The private search had been conducted on behalf of the Sala’s family after an online funding campaign raised approximately €370,000.

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