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Airplane wreckage from Emiliano Sala crash found

Cardiff City v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 02: Players, fans and officials take part in a minute of silence in tribute to Emiliano Sala prior to the Premier League match between Cardiff City and AFC Bournemouth at Cardiff City Stadium on February 2, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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A private search team led by shipwreck specialist David Mearns has located the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala off the coast of the Channel Islands.

The wreckage was located Sunday morning, Mearns announced on social media, just hours after beginning the search financed in part by crowdfunding action. No specifics were announced about what in particular was found, but Mears posted on Twitter saying, “The families of Emiliano Sala and [pilot] David Ibbotson have been notified by Police. The AAIB [Air Accident Investigation Branch] will be making a statement tomorrow. Tonight our sole thoughts are with the families and friends of Emiliano and David.”

Mears’ plan for the search, he announced earlier that morning, was to search a four square nautical mile area over the course of a three-day span.

The Piper Malibu aircraft went down on January 21st on its way from Nantes, France to Cardiff, with the Argentine striker and pilot David Ibbotson on board. Sala had completed a transfer from Ligue 1 side FC Nantes for a club record $20 million.

A lengthy search was conducted immediately after the plane was reported missing, but was called off on January 24th with officials claiming the chances of Sala’s and Ibbotson’s survival “extremely remote.”

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