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Emiliano Sala missing plane: Rescue operation suspended as hopes fade for Cardiff City striker

22:01 GMT+4 22/01/2019
Emiliano Sala
Local police confirmed that the chances for survival were "slim" after daylight ran out on their search on Tuesday

The search for ​a plane carrying Cardiff City record signing Emiliano Sala has been suspended until Wednesday morning, local police have confirmed, with chances for survival "slim" for the Argentine.

Sala and a pilot were on a small aircraft flying from Nantes to Wales on Monday evening when it disappeared off radar off the coast of Guernsey, in the English Channel between the UK and France

A search was carried out on Tuesday but, at 5pm local time, the search and rescue team confirmed that no trace of either person aboard the plane had been found. With daylight fading, police suspended the search for Tuesday.

"During the course of the 15-hour search, which used multiple air and sea assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, a number of floating objects have been seen in the water," Guernsey Police said on Twitter.

"We have been unable to confirm whether any of these are from the missing aircraft."

In a further update, the police sounded a pessimistic note on Sala and the pilot's chances of survival due to the cold temperature and weather conditions.

"We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim."

Cardiff released a statement earlier on Tuesday from club CEO Ken Choo, who said the club were "praying for positive news".

"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," the statement read.

"Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation.

"We made the decision first thing this morning to call off training with the thoughts of the squad, management staff and the entire club with Emiliano and the pilot.

"All of us at Cardiff City FC would like to thank our fans, and the entire footballing family for their support at this difficult time. We continue to pray for positive news."

Sala completed a £15 million ($19m) move to Cardiff from Ligue 1 side Nantes on Saturday, and had travelled back to France to bid farewell to his former team-mates.