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Search resumes for missing plane of Cardiff striker Sala

Cardiff City’s new striker Emiliano Sala expressed concerns about the plane during the flight, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives © AFP/File / LOIC VENANCE

ST PETER PORT, Guernsey, Jan 23 – Police on the British island of Guernsey resumed the search Wednesday for a missing plane carrying Premier League player Emiliano Sala, who is presumed dead after debris was found in the water.

The light aircraft carrying the Argentine striker, who signed for Cardiff City at the weekend, disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.

“We have resumed searching,” the police said.

“Two planes are taking off and will search a targeted area we believe has the highest likelihood of finding anything, based on review of the tides and weather since it (the plane) went missing.

“Coastal areas around (the nearby island of) Alderney and off-lying rocks and islands will also be searched from the air.”

Sala, who signed on Saturday from French 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.

It has emerged he expressed concerns about the plane on the flight, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives.

“I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart, and I’m leaving for Cardiff,” Sala said in a WhatsApp audio message carried by Argentine media.

“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. Dad, I’m so scared,” he added.

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A 15-hour search Tuesday covering a 1,155 square-mile (3,000 square-kilometre) area in the Channel spotted “a number of floating objects in the water”, Guernsey police said on Tuesday.

“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,” they added.

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