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“The wreckage of the plane carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot has been found two weeks after it disappeared in the English Channel,” a member of the search team declared on Monday, February 5th.

“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,” Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch has said in a statement.

Footballer Sala, 28, was flying from Nantes France to join his new club, Cardiff city, when the aircraft disappeared on January 21st, around the Channel Islands. The plane was only Sala and the pilot, when it plunged into the sea. This happened shortly after the pilot had requested to turn back.

The official rescue effort was officially called-off on 24th January after Guernsey’s Harbour Master declared the chances of survival were “extremely remote”. An online appeal raised £324,000 (371,000 Euros) for the private search, which began on Sunday led by Shipwreck hunter David Mearns, who was hired by the family.

The aircraft later was located four days later, after two seat cushions, suspected to have come from the plane, were washed ashore by waves. Mr. Mearns announced that the plane had been found on Sunday morning. “It is broken but most of it is there,” he told BBC radio. He also reported that his private company, Blue Water Recoveries, had found the wreckage then called the Air Accidents Investigation Branch to take a closer look.

In the view of Mr. Mearns, the finding of the wreckage was just about the best result that they and the families of the deceased could have hoped for. “The authorities will now resume control of the investigation,” he said.

During the course of the day, the search team went through various stages of identification, before it was positively confirmed that the wreckage was that of the aircraft.  The footballer’s father Mr. Horacio Sala, expressed his shock and anguish as he described the recent findings as a bad dream. Sala who had just signed for Cardiff at a price of US$19.3million had been expected to start his training with the English team in January.

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