Emiliano Sala: Premier League star feared missing after plane disappears over English Channel near Alderney

Fears are growing that Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala was on board a plane that has disappeared over the English Channel.

There is mounting concern that the Argentine striker was one of two people on the Piper Malibu, when it lost contact near the Casquets lighthouse around eight miles north-west of Alderney at 8.30pm.

An air and sea search has been launched and rescue teams have been scrambled to waters north of the Channel Island.

"A search and rescue operation is currently underway off the north of Alderney after a light aircraft disappeared from radar several hours ago," Guernsey police said.

"Two helicopters alongside the Guernsey and Alderney lifeboats are searching for it."

Multiple reports in France say there is 'genuine concern' Sala was on board the plane after he was seen going through border control in Nantes. Many have said police sources have confirmed Sala was on board.

Sala signed for Cardiff City on Saturday after joining the club from Nantes for £15million.

"I'm very happy to be here," he said on Saturday. "It gives me great pleasure and I can't wait to start training, meet my new teammates and get down to work."

The transfer was a record signing for Cardiff and the player was due to appear for training at the club's ground on Tuesday.

Cardiff are said to be seeking further information.

The Alderney lifeboat said it launched at 8.50pm on Monday night.

The plane is thought to have been travelling from Nantes in Brittany to Cardiff.

HM Coastguard said the incident was not in the UK search and rescue area, although it had sent two helicopters to help.

"HM Coastguard are currently assisting Guernsey Coastguard with a search for a light aircraft off Alderney in the Channel Islands," a spokeswoman said.

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"HM Coastguard helicopters from Solent and Newquay have been helping to search overnight with nothing found."

The search and rescue operation had to deal with worsening conditions as they scoured the area on Monday night.

"At that time there were some showers around, but nothing too intense. Wind speeds were not too bad – average speeds were around 15 to 20mph," Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said.

"But it has got pretty wet, we've seen a band of rain push down from the north-west. That rain set in around 11.30pm to midnight and it's still raining now.

"It's also a bit windier, with gusts around 35mph."

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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