2/5/2019 4:21:14 PM

Crash investigators planning 'operation' on Sala's plane

Crash investigators planning

London: British crash investigators told AFP on Tuesday they were planning "an underwater operation" in the next couple of days on the wreckage of a plane carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala in the Channel.

"There is still an ongoing operation gathering evidence," said a spokesman for the Air Accident Investigations Branch.

Asked whether an attempt would be made to recover the aircraft and the unidentified body that a remotely operated vehicle found on board, he said only: "An underwater operation will be conducted over the next couple of days".

The shipwreck hunter who found the remains of the plane on Sunday urged the authorities to urgently recover the body.

"Time is of the essence when you're talking about a body, so really it's imperative that they proceed with the recovery of the plane and the body," David Mearns said.

Mearns was hired by Sala's family to find the light aircraft after it disappeared near the British island of Guernsey on January 21, with the 28-year-old footballer and pilot David Ibbotson on board.

He found the wreckage on Sunday, before the AAIB took over the operation. They revealed on Monday that a body had been found at the site.

"Finding it is just the starting point. The AAIB has got to investigate it... The best outcome for the families would be to find the plane and recover both bodies," Mearns said.

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