Emiliano Sala: Underwater search to commence after seat cushions ‘from missing plane’ found

An underwater search for footballer Emiliano Sala will commence after two pieces of seat cushion believed to be from the missing plane were found on the Normandy coast, about 20 miles from the last known position of the aircraft.

The plane went missing nine days ago with Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, on board last week.

The two seat cushions were discovered by the French safety authorities near Surtainville on France’s Cotentin Peninsula, on Monday, by French authorities.

As reported by the Guardian: “It has also emerged that the UK aviation investigators have identified a “priority search area” of about four square nautical miles where they believe the wreckage of the plane may lie and have commissioned a Ministry of Defence salvage and marine operations team to try to locate it. The start of this operation is being delayed by poor weather.”

In a statement the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: “On the morning of Monday 28 January, we were advised by the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses, the French safety investigation authority, that part of a seat cushion had been found on a beach near Surtainville on the Cotentin peninsula.

Due to weather and sea conditions, an underwater search is not expected to start until the end of the week and will take up to three days, an AAIB spokesman said.

It will use sonar equipment to locate any wreckage on the sea bed.

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