A player who had just become Premier League side Cardiff City’s record transfer is thought to have been on a plane that has gone missing over the English Channel. Those searching for Emiliano Sala ‘fear the worst’.
Police on the British Channel Island of Guernsey said on Tuesday morning that they had resumed the search for the PA 46 Malibu light aircraft, which disappeared from radar on Monday night.
On the same day, one of the search party said they were “fearing the worst” for the 28-year-old who was on the verge of signing for Cardiff from Nantes.
“Sadly we are fearing the worst…the sea temperature is so cold at the moment,” John Fitzgerald, Chief Officer of Channel Islands Air Search, told news agency AFP.
“If it came down as an uncontrolled landing, the plane would’ve broken up, in which case there is no hope,” said Fitzgerald, whose volunteer-staffed company assists British and French coastguards.
An earlier statement said a search and rescue operation, using helicopters and lifeboats had begun late on Monday 20 kilometers north off the Channel Island of Alderney.
Cardiff City had announced the signing of the Argentinian striker on Saturday for a reported fee of £15 million ($19 million) — a record signing for the Welsh club.
Cardiff City Chairman Mehmet Dalman said he was “very concerned for the safety of Emiliano Sala” while Nantes announced that fans will gather in the city in support of the player. Club president Waldemar Kita says “I’m thinking about his friends, his family. There is still hope, he is a fighter.”
Sala has scored 13 league goals this season in all competitions for Nantes this season.