A body has been seen in the plane wreckage of Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson’s flight, according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
On Sunday night investigators said they had located the wreckage on the seabed of the English Channel and the families of those on board had been told.
Sala had just completed his £15million move to Cardiff when the plane carrying him and pilot Ibbotson disappeared over the English Channel on January 21 after leaving Nantes for the Welsh capital.
“The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) carried out a further search of the area overnight, but did not identify any additional pieces of wreckage,” said the AAIB in a statement.
“Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage. The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot and passenger, and the police.”
After rescuers and Guernsey police called off the official search, Sala’s sister, Romina, organised a GoFundMe page that led to a private search being started, and which eventually found the plane.
The AAIB said it had now concluded it was the missing Piper Malibu aircraft, issuing an underwater image of the crashed plane with part of its registration number – N264DB – clearly visible.
“The image shows the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration,” the AAIB said. “We intend to publish an interim report within one month of the accident occurring.