In a tragic turn of events, chances of survival of Cardiff City’s Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala looks bleak after the search operations yielded no positive results. The striker is believed to have been killed after his chartered flight encountered problems after taking off from France to arrive in Cardiff on Monday.
The plane is believed to have crashed near Alderney in the Channel Islands, with the pilot losing contact with traffic control after calling for help around 8.30 pm.
The chartered plane on which Sala was flying was a Piper Malibu aircraft. It was flying at 2,300ft in the air and was passing over Guernsey when the pilot requested descent. Along with Sala, the pilot of the aircraft Dan Henderson, 60, is also believed to be the casualty in the tragic accident.
Argentinian newspaper Clarin also released what is believed to be Sala’s final audio messages to friends and family on WhatsApp, which was confirmed by Sala’s father Horacio.
The messages said, “I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart, and I’m leaving for Cardiff. If in an hour and a half you have no news from me, I don’t know if they will send people to look for me, because they will not find me, you know. Dad, I’m so scared.”
Sala is Cardiff City’s record signing as the Bluebirds paid £15million for his signature. The signing was only announced on Friday and Sala had not even trained with his teammates yet. He had flown back to France in order to bid goodbye to his Nantes teammates.
The news has left both the fans of Cardiff City and Nantes in a great amount of distress. Cardiff City chief executive Ken Choo said in a statement that he was hoping for an unlikely miracle to occur. “We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team. Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation. We continue to pray for positive news.”
Nantes FC president Waldemar Kita also echoed the sentiment of his Cardiff City counterpart paying tribute to Sala while speaking to TV channel CNEWS, “I think that he came back because he wanted to say goodbye to his friends. He was a polite, kind and adorable boy, loved by everyone. He was very respectful, very courteous.“