The Argentine football star Emiliano Sala was one of two people aboard a small plane passing over the English Channel, said the French Civil Aviation Authority Tuesday.
The single-engine aircraft, a Piper PA-46 Malibu, departed at. 19.15 Monday from the French city of Nantes and headed to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, when it suddenly disappeared off the coast of Guernsey, an island in the English Channel, officials said.
At 8:23 am, the island's coast guard received a warning that the aircraft had left their radar about 15 miles north of Guernsey, which led to a major search and rescue operation that continued on Tuesday, officials said.
"The plane on passers-by Guernsey requested a descent," the police said in a statement that the plane fled at an altitude of 2,300 feet when it lost contact.
The search was temporarily stopped at 2 o'clock due to high winds and worsening sea conditions, which reduced visibility and resumed Tuesday morning, officials said.
In an update Tuesday, the Guernsey police said: "So far, over 1
Sala, 28, escaped to Wales to join English Premier League club Cardiff City, officials said.
Cardiff City signed the young striker last Saturday for a reported $ 19 million in a deal lasting 2022 – a club book.
"We are very worried about the latest news that a light aircraft lost contact over the canal last night. We are waiting for confirmation before we can say anything more. We are very worried about the security of Emiliano Sala," said Mehmet Dalman, President of Cardiff City, in a statement according to The Guardian.
Sala, who played with the French football club FC Nantes, had returned to France after signing with Cardiff City and was to pursue in Cardiff for training Tuesday.
On Monday, he sent a picture of himself and his former teammates on Instagram and wrote: "The final farewell @FCNantes."
At the weekend, Cardiff City's football club posted a video of Sala on its Facebook page.
"I can't wait to start training, meeting my new teammates and getting down to work," said Sala in the video.
Sala joined FC Nantes in 2015 and has scored 42 goals for the club.
Meanwhile, Nantes has postponed his Wednesday French Cup match with L 'Entente Sannois Saint Gratien in the midst of the search for Sala.
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