Dead body seen in search for missing footballer

A body has been seen in the wreckage of the plane which was carrying missing footballer Emiliano Sala, the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has said.

Underwater searches were carried out using specialist vessels on February 3 over the priority search area and, according to AAIB, uncovered an “object of interest” on the seabed.

A remotely operated vehicle surveyed the area and, based on analysis of the video footage, investigators have concluded that the object was wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft.

The statement said: “Tragically, in video footage from the ROV [Remotely Operated Vehicle], 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.”

Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, were flying in the single-turbine aircraft from Nantes, in northern France, to Cardiff, in Wales, when it disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands on January 21.

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