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EMILIANO SALA

Body found amidst wreckage of Emiliano Sala's plane

Body found amidst wreckage of Emiliano Sala's plane

The aircraft was found on the seabed on Sunday morning and the AAIB say that a body was visible in the wreckage in an official statement.

The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch have released an update on their search for the aircraft carrying Emiliano Sala that went missing in January after the player sealed a move to Cardiff City from FC Nantes.

The AAIB says "one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage" that was found on the seabed on Sunday.

David Mearns, who is co-ordinating the privately funded search for the aircraft which was carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, stated the wreckage was discovered on Sunday morning and added their families have been informed.

They will release an interim report within one month of the accident as they consider what steps to take after subsequent developments.

AAIB's full statement on search for Sala's plane

Having identified a priority search area last week, the AAIB agreed a search strategy with Blue Water Recoveries Ltd to maximise the chance of locating the aircraft wreckage.

The AAIB commissioned specialist vessel Geo Ocean III and Blue Water Recoveries Ltd commissioned FPV Morven and the search area was divided between the vessels. Both vessels began their search on the morning of Sunday 3 February.

Early in the search, the Morven identified an object of interest on the seabed using its side-scan sonar equipment. It cleared the immediate area for the Geo Ocean III to use its underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to survey the area of the seabed in which the object was located. Based on analysis of ROV video footage, the AAIB investigators on board the vessel concluded that the object is wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft, registration N264DB.

The ROV carried out a further search of the area overnight, but did not identify any additional pieces of wreckage.

Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage. The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot and passenger, and the police.

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

We intend to publish an interim report within one month of the accident occurring.