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Unidentified Body Found In Wreckage Of Plane Carrying Emiliano Sala And David Ibbotson

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Unidentified Body Found In Wreckage Of Plane Carrying Emiliano Sala And David Ibbotson

A body has been found in the underwater wreckage of the plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson. However, the identity of the occupant has not yet been confirmed.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed the sighting of one body this morning - almost two weeks after the plane went missing.

Emiliano Sala's sister Romina (left) and mother Mercedes. Credit: PA
Emiliano Sala's sister Romina (left) and mother Mercedes. Credit: PA

Currently, both 28-year-old Sala and the aircraft's pilot Ibbotson, 59, are missing presumed dead.

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In a statement the AAIB said: "The remotely operated vehicle (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."

Yesterday, oceanographer, marine scientist and well-known shipwreck hunter David Mearns launched a survey vessel and confirmed the wreckage had been found after 'a couple of hours' of searching the seabed of the English Channel.

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Mearns explained the investigation had then been handed over to the AAIB.

The identity of the body has not yet been confirmed. Credit: AAIB
The identity of the body has not yet been confirmed. Credit: AAIB

He told Sky Sports News: "Our job is done. This is an active investigation now in the hands of the AAIB, and they will be taking over as agreed.

"We've had a long trip back and all I could think about was the families. 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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"Incredibly tragic and sad, and a devastating moment, but at least some of their questions will be answered because of what we will be able to do today."

David Mearns. Credit: PA
David Mearns. Credit: PA

The official search for the two men was called off on 24 January when Guernsey Police confirmed that they were 'no longer actively searching' for the plane, but a private search continued.

Footballer Sala 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.

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However, the small plane Sala and Ibbotson had been travelling on disappeared from radar visibility near the Channel Islands.

His old teammates all wore his number - nine - on the back of their shirts and a huge banner was placed in the centre-circle of the pitch.

Featured Image Credit: AAIB

Topics: World News, Football

Jess Hardiman
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