The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has confirmed one person is visible in the video footage of the wreckage of the plane that was carrying Emiliano Sala.

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson were the only people onboard the plane that disappeared on its way from Nantes to Cardiff on January 21.

The initial hunt for the aircraft was called off later that week, but it picked up again when thousands of people donated to a GoFundMe page set up to fund an underwater search.

The plane was found in the English Channel on Sunday, with the AAIB confirming the following day that a body has been spotted in early video footage.

“Early in the search, the Morven identified an object of interest on the seabed using its side-scan sonar equipment,” a statement read. “It cleared the immediate area for the Geo Ocean III to use its underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to survey the area of the seabed in which the object was located. Based on analysis of ROV video footage, the AAIB investigators on board the vessel concluded that the object is wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft, registration N264DB.

“The ROV carried out a further search of the area overnight, but did not identify any additional pieces of wreckage.

“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.

“The image shows the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration.

“We intend to publish an interim report within one month of the accident occurring.”

It was revealed last week that seat cushions from the plane had washed up on a beach in France 

More to follow …

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