Search resumes for Cardiff striker Sala as final message emerges | 2019-01-24

Search resumes for Cardiff striker Sala as final message emerges

Afp, St Peter Port

23rd January, 2019 09:54:20 printer

Search resumes for Cardiff striker Sala as final message emerges

The search resumed Wednesday for a missing plane carrying Cardiff City’s record new signing Emiliano Sala, as it emerged the Argentine striker had sent relatives a desperate message shortly before the light aircraft disappeared over the Channel.

Floating objects have been found in the water, and police on the British island of Guernsey, which sits off the north coast of France, have warned the chances of the passengers surviving were “slim”.

As the air search resumed, Argentine media reported that Sala sent a final message before the plane disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.

“I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart, and I’m leaving for Cardiff,” the 28-year-old said in a WhatsApp audio message.

“If in an hour and a half you have no news from me, I don’t know if they will send people to look for me, because they will not find me, you know... I’m so scared,” he added.

Sala, who signed with the Premier League club on Saturday from French Ligue 1 club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff on a single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft. A 15-hour search Tuesday covering 1,155 square miles (3,000 square-kilometre) in the Channel spotted “a number of floating objects in the water”, Guernsey police said.

On Wednesday, they said two planes had resumed searching a targeted area, including around the nearby island of Alderney, based on the theory that the plane might have landed on water and the occupants got into a life raft that was on board.

Guernsey police said: “We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim.”

The pilot had requested to lower his altitude shortly before air traffic control in neighbouring Jersey lost contact with the plane, they said.