A massive search operation is underway in the English Channel for a plane that has gone missing with two people on board.
Rescue teams were scrambled after the aircraft disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands on Monday night.
Argentinean media have published a chilling audio record of Emiliano Sala telling his friends on WhatsApp ‘Hi friends, I’m here in Nantes doing millions of things. There I am on a plane that seems about to fall apart. I’m tired, if all goes well, tomorrow I train with my new team. If in an hour and a half, you have no news of me, I do not know if they will send someone to find me because it will be hard to find me.‘
The father of the player confirmed that it was indeed the voice of his son.
- UPDATE 6 Wednesday The search is ongoing and a decision whether to continue will be taken later today.
- UPDATE 5 Wednesday The missing pilot who flew Cardiff City footballer Emilia Sala before the plane vanished has been named as British dad-of-three Dave Ibbotson.
- UPDATE 4 Wednesday Search have resumed. Two planes are taking off & will search a targeted area believed has the highest likelihood of finding anything, based on review of the tides and weather since it went missing.
- UPDATE 3 Tuesday One plane, one lifeboat are still searching – 1,155sq miles have been searched.
- UPDATE 2 Tuesday So far over 1,000sq miles have been searched by a total of five aircraft and two lifeboats. It is being co-ordinated by the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre. There has been no trace of the aircraft.
- UPDATE 1 Tuesday Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala was on the plane as he came to greet his former teammates at Nantes before flying to Cardiff – Police sources.
Reports say that the Piper Malibu PA-46 lost contact near the Casquets lighthouse around eight miles north-west of Alderney at 20:30.
It left Nantes at 19:15 and had been flying at 5,000ft when it contacted Jersey air traffic control requesting descent, the force said.
The plane is thought to have been travelling from Nantes in Brittany to Cardiff.