The remains of the Piper Malibu aircraft which was carrying Premier League footballer, Emiliano Sala, has been found and the families of those presumed dead have been told.
The wreckage of the plane, which disappeared close to the Channel Islands on January 22nd was located on the seabed of the English Channel this morning.
Both pilot, David Ibbotson, and Emiliano Sala are missing and presumed dead.
The wreckage of the plane was found following a privately-funded operation, which was directed by Blue Waters Recoveries, on behalf of the Sala family.
Mr Mearns, director of Blue Waters Recoveries, led a team of seven other people during searched today. The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) also sent a team on the search.
The search was carried out "in close co-ordination" with the AAIB, and was planned to take three days, over an area of around four square nautical miles. It is unknown at present if further searches are required.
UPDATE 9:42 pm:
There has been an out-pour of support from heartbroken fans on social media this evening as the news of the wreckage being recovered breaks.
Tweets from heartbroken fans:
It is still unclear whether the bodies of David Ibbotson and Emiliano Sala have been recovered.
UPDATE 9.48 pm:
It is understood that early this morning, at around 9 am, in the early stages of the search, that the private marine search team saw something with their sonar equipment and that they carried out further passes over that area. After going through various stages of identification over the course of the day.
This evening, David Mearns, the man that led today's search, confirmed the search coordinators have positively identified the wreckage as that of the plane which had been carrying Sala and his pilot. Sala had just completed a £15-million transfer to Cardiff City from French club, Nantes.
Tweet from David Mearns:
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