Debris from soccer star’s plane found

Two seat cushions likely to have been from the missing plane carrying tragic footballer Emiliano Sala have been found on a French beach.

The Sun reports that Air Accident Investigation Branch said the cushions are likely to have been from the Piper Malibu plane which vanished last Monday.

A display of Cardiff City scarfs and jerseys, flowers, messages and other tributes to the football club’s new signing Emiliano Sala. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

Cardiff City striker Sala and British pilot Dave Ibbotson, from Scunthorpe, are missing and presumed dead.

The discovery was made by French investigators on a beach near Surtainville on the French coast.

An underwater search is now set to take place as search and rescue teams look to recover the aircraft wreckage.

FC Nantes supporters stand beside a portrait of Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

An AAIB spokesman said: “On the morning of Monday 28 January, we were advised by the Bureau d’Enquêtes & d’Analyses (BEA), the French safety investigation authority, that part of a seat cushion had been found on a beach near Surainville on the Cotentin Peninsula.

“A second cushion was found in the same area later that day.

“From a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft.

“We have now identified a priority underwater search area of approximately four square nautical miles.”

Emiliano Sala’s sister Romina, left, and mother Mercedes, centre, listen to Blue Water Recoveries director David Mearns talk about plans to find and recover the plane. Picture: APSource:AP

The search is set to start this weekend due to difficult weather conditions expected over the coming days.

The cushions would be the first wreckage to be found from the missing jet following a huge search of the English Channel.

The Cardiff-bound plane disappeared after taking off from Nantes Airport in France at around 7.30pm last Monday.

The Argentinian striker was set to be unveiled as Cardiff City’s club record signing the next day after completing a £15 million transfer from Nantes.

Cardiff City fans hold a banner in the stands, reading ‘Emiliano Sala Forever a Bluebird’, ahead of the match against Arsenal. Picture: APSource:AP

The aerial search for the wreckage was ended by Guernsey Police last Thursday after three days of scouring the English Channel.

Sala’s family has since pledged to launch their own private search and received backing from football stars including Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain.

His sister Romina said earlier this week: “We will find a way to restart the search. We will find Emiliano and the pilot. He is a fighter and we feel he is still out there.”

This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission

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