Category Archives: Wales


Emiliano Sala’s funeral to take place in hometown in Argentina

The funeral of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala will take place in his native Argentina on Saturday.

The 28-year-old died when the plane he was in with pilot David Ibbotson crashed in the English Channel en route from Nantes to Cardiff on 21 January.

His funeral will take place in his hometown of Progreso and a wake will also be held at the club Sala played for as a youth.

Among those due to attend is Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock


Emiliano Sala (left) was on board a plane being flown by pilot David Ibbotson

Sala was killed when a single-engine light aircraft, flown by pilot Mr Ibbotson, crashed near Alderney just two days after he became Cardiff City’s record transfer,

His body, which was recovered from the wreckage following a privately-funded search last week, was repatriated in Argentina on Friday.

It was then driven from Buenos Aires to the Sante Fe province, where Sala grew up.

Emiliano Sala: Search for footballer and pilot called off

Emiliano Sala: £220,000 raised for private search Emiliano Sala: £220,000 raised for private search

Ahead of the service, boyhood club San Martin de Progreso posted a message on social media saying: “We are waiting for you … like the first day you left but this time to stay with us forever.

“Eternally in our hearts.”

San Martin de Progreso club entrance

Sala played football at San Martin de Progreso until he was 15

As well as Cardiff’s delegation of Warnock and chief executive Ken Choo, Sala’s former club FC Nantes will be represented by defender Nicolas Pallois and its general secretary.

Sala’s mother Mercedes and sister Romina, who travelled to Europe after his disappearance, have already rejoined the footballer’s dad Horacio back in Argentina.

Meanwhile, a campaign to raise funds to find the body of Mr Ibbotson has reached £240,000

The family of the 59-year-old, who is feared dead, are hoping to raise £300,000.

Ford exit reports ‘deeply worrying’ for Bridgend plant”:

Reports of Ford stepping up plans to move production out of the UK are “deeply worrying”, former first minister Carwyn Jones has said.

The Times newspaper claimed the car giant told Prime Minister Theresa May it was preparing sites abroad.

Ford did not comment on the claim but said a no-deal Brexit would be “catastrophic” for the UK car industry.

It has a plant in Mr Jones’ Bridgend constituency and last month union Unite said 1,000 jobs were to be cut by 2021.

Those cuts, which the union said was because of challenging market conditions, would see the site’s workforce almost halve.

Ford is looking to shake up its European operations and is the latest carmaker to warn about the risks of a no-deal Brexit ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU on 29 March.

A spokesman said: “Such a situation would be catastrophic for the UK auto industry and Ford’s manufacturing operations in the country.

“We will take whatever action is necessary to preserve the competitiveness of our European business.”

Labour’s Mr Jones expressed his concern for workers and their families in Bridgend, but blamed the impasse over the Brexit deal on a lack of leadership at UK level.

“We have no idea what Brexit will look like,” he said.

Ford workers in Bridgend
The job losses in Bridgend would be phased over the next two years

“We’re six or seven weeks away from it and companies like Ford are saying, ‘look we can’t wait any longer, we’re going to have to put in place contingency plans’ and that’s deeply worrying.

“We need to make sure that we get to an agreement and certainty as quickly as possible.”

Unite national officer Des Quinn urged MPs to “stop gambling” with the futures of UK workers and their families.

He added: “They now must do what is best for the country by taking a no deal, hard Brexit off the table and securing the tariff-free, frictionless trade with Europe through a permanent customs union on which our manufacturing success depends.”

The UK government said the best way to provide certainty to industry is for MPs to support the prime minister’s Brexit deal.

Emiliano Sala search team recover body from plane wreckage

It is not yet known whose body was recovered from the plane wreckage

A body has been recovered from the wreckage of the plane which crashed with Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said specialist contractors joined the operation in “challenging conditions”.

It was carried out in “as dignified a way as possible” and the men’s families were kept updated throughout, it said.

The wreckage of the plane, which vanished two weeks ago over the English Channel, was found off Guernsey.

The Geo Ocean III, the boat carrying the body, arrived at Portland Port in Dorset on Thursday morning as it is the nearest part of the British mainland to where the plane was located.

Dorset Police said: “The arrival of the body into Dorset has been reported to the coroner for Dorset.

“The coroner will investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.”

No formal identification has taken place, but the force said both families had been updated.

Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson
Emiliano Sala (left) was on board a plane being flown by pilot David Ibbotson

The Piper Malibu N264DB was en route from France to Cardiff, after the 28-year-old Argentine striker made a quick trip back to his former club Nantes two days after his £15m transfer to Cardiff was announced.

Mr Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, was at the controls when the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers on 21 January.

An official search was called off on 24 January after Guernsey’s harbour master said the chances of survival were “extremely remote”.

But an online appeal started by Sala’s agent raised £324,000 (371,000 euros) for a private search led by marine scientist and oceanographer David Mearns.

Working jointly with the AAIB, his ship and the Geo Ocean III, began combing a four square mile area of the English Channel, 24 nautical miles north of Guernsey, to make best use of the available sensors.

Mr Mearns said the plane was identified by sonar, before a submersible with cameras was sent underwater to confirm this.

Footballers and fans pay tribute to Emiliano Sala at Cardiff City Stadium
A minute’s silence was held for Sala and Mr Ibbotson ahead of Cardiff’s home game against Bournemouth
Fans place flowers and T-shirts with messages in tribute of Emiliano Sala before Cardiff's Premier League match against Bournemouth at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday
Cardiff fans left a sea of flowers outside the Cardiff City Stadium in tribute to Emiliano Sala

The AAIB used a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to aid the search, with no divers involved.

The body was moved first, and separately from the wreckage, to maximise the chances of it being successfully brought to the surface.

It said efforts to recover the crashed plane as a whole proved unsuccessful, before being abandoned due to poor weather.

“The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close,” the AAIB said in a statement.

However, the AAIB said video footage captured by the ROV would provide “valuable evidence” for its safety investigation.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Sala’s former club, French Ligue 1 side Nantes, has demanded Cardiff City pay his £15m transfer fee.

Sala, 28, was Cardiff’s record signing but never played for the club.

The fee was due to be paid over three years but Cardiff have withheld the first scheduled payment until they are satisfied with the documentation.

A supporter stands in front of flowers placed in front of a giant portrait of Emilianio Sala outside La Beaujoire stadium before Tuesday's French Cup match between FC Nantes and Toulouse FC
Supporters in Nantes have also been paying tribute to Sala

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Six Nations: Wales should stick with Gareth Anscombe – Jamie Roberts

Six Nations: Wales beat France in comeback in opening game
Video captionSix Nations: Wales beat France in comeback in opening game

Six Nations: Italy v Wales
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Date: Saturday, 9 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on S4C, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Bath centre Jamie Roberts says Wales head coach Warren Gatland should keep faith with half-backs Gareth Anscombe and Tomos Williams against Italy.

The Cardiff Blues pair started in Wales’ Six Nations opener against France in which Gatland’s side came back from 16-0 down to win 24-19.

Anscombe was not at his best in wet conditions, but Roberts believes he deserves to retain the number 10 shirt.

“I think he’s a quality player,” he said.

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“Gats has spoken openly about backing Gareth because he did very well in November, let’s not forget that.”

Gatland will name his side to play Italy on Thursday.

Fly-half Anscombe was preferred to Northampton’s Dan Biggar and scrum-half Williams was given the nod ahead of Scarlets’ Gareth Davies at the Stade de France.

Tomos Williams
Tomos Williams made his first Six Nations start in the win over France

Williams scored Wales’ opening try in Paris with Anscombe successful with two conversions, while his second-half replacement Biggar added a penalty and conversion.

“I’d back the lads again,” Wales international Roberts told BBC Wales’ Scrum V Six Nations special.

“It was wet at the weekend and it was a shame we couldn’t see the best of Anscombe.

“It was greasy, and for him and Tomos Williams, it was difficult to judge them on that performance, I think.

“Hopefully it’s a dry track in Rome and I’d go with those lads again.

“That’s not saying anything about Gareth Davies and Dan Biggar, I thought they were magnificent when they came on.

Wales have ‘plenty to improve on’ - Owens
Wales have ‘plenty to improve on’ – Owens

“What a great selection headache for Warren Gatland.”

But former Wales captain Gwyn Jones believes Biggar should start against Italy in Rome on Saturday.

“In dry weather with us going forward, I think Anscombe is a wonderful 10 and can rip teams apart,” Jones said.

“But in those [wet] conditions I don’t think he’s the man for us. He’s prone to good highs but very low lows.

“I think Dan Biggar gives you eight-and- a-half every week at least and gives you a couple of things Anscombe doesn’t give you.

“He gives defensive solidity, and he’s probably our best player in the air.

“If these aerial battles are going to define these games, then let’s get our very best guy at catching the ball in the air on the pitch and he gives fantastic kicking.”

Carol Boardman: Man jailed for killing Olympian’s mother

Chris Boardman: 'I have nothing to say to mum's killer'
Chris Boardman: ‘I have nothing to say to mum’s killer’

A driver who admitted killing Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman’s mother by running over her has been sentenced to 30 weeks in prison.

Liam Rosney, 33, of Connah’s Quay, had previously admitted causing death by careless driving at Mold Crown Court.

Carol Boardman, 75, died in July 2016 after she fell off her bike in Deeside, Flintshire.

The court heard Rosney was distracted as he made or received three phone calls before the incident.

He faced a charge of causing death by dangerous driving but later admitted the lesser charge.

As well as the prison sentence, Rosney was banned from driving for 18 and a half months.

“This was an accident which could have easily been prevented and your contribution to that accident is significant in as much as you were distracted,” said Judge Rhys Rowlands.

“The distraction being as a result of you using your mobile phone before the actual collision.”

The incident happened after Carol Boardman fell off her bike

Mrs Boardman, 75, whose cyclist son Chris won gold at the 1992 Olympics, suffered multiple injuries when she was hit by Mr Rosney’s Mitsubishi pick-up truck after falling from her bike on a mini-roundabout in Connah’s Quay on 16 July 2016.

Judge Rowlands said: “Any accident which results in someone losing their life is the most appalling tragedy, the more so when the deceased, as here, was well-loved and, as I have indicated already, a pretty remarkable woman.”

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The court heard that in the minutes before Rosney hit Mrs Boardman, who had fallen from her bike on the junction of Mold Road and Ffordd Llanarth, he made or received three phone calls while driving his vehicle, which did not have a hands-free facility.

Matthew Curtis, prosecuting, said: “It’s clear he was speaking to his wife on the telephone four seconds before the fatal collision and he was, we submit, still distracted by the telephone call and mobile telephone handset.”

Oliver Jarvis, defending, said Rosney did not “want to make any excuses for his behaviour” and realised he had “destroyed the lives” of Mrs Boardman’s family.

Chris Boardman said: “My dad has lost his partner of 50 years which has just been absolutely gutting.”

Looking at the devastating impact the incident has had on his family, he questioned the nature of the charge.

“We don’t treat crime committed in cars as serious crime, so somebody can be careless and crush somebody else to death and it’s classed as careless,” he said.

While he said he did not want to see lots of people go to prison, he wanted to see the ability to do harm taken away.

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Boardman called for a review of the law, saying people do “the easiest thing” when driving [such as using their phones] and “react to the consequences”, adding: “If the consequence is minimal then where is the reason to change behaviour?”

Liam Rosney and Victoria Rosney
Liam and Victoria Rosney were cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice

Rosney and his wife Victoria were cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice in July.

Mrs Boardman had been a competitive cyclist in her youth and had remained active in cycling until her death.

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Emiliano Sala’s family view search area off Guernsey

Emiliano Sala (left) was on board a plane being flown by pilot David Ibbotson (right)

The family of missing Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala are planning an underwater search.

Family spokesman David Mearns told a press conference that a private search of the English Channel, paid for by fundraisers, also included fishing boats and other vessels.

The underwater search is expected to begin on Sunday.

Meanwhile the family has been taken on a plane to see the area that rescuers have been searching.

They left Guernsey Airport at about 09:30 GMT on a chartered flight with harbourmaster David Barker.

Sala’s sister Romina and mother Mercedes arrived on the island on Sunday and a family spokesman said they were struggling for answers.

The family travelled on a twin-engine Dornier 228-212 plane which flew from Guernsey and circled the island of Alderney.

The plane leaving the airport
The family’s flight leaving Guernsey Airport

Mr Mearns told a press conference on Monday: “We would like to thank all the people and all the companies that have offered their help,” he said.

“We have been planning an underwater search as a next phase… there are still boats on the water… and people are still looking.”

Speaking of Sala and the football community’s reaction, Mr Mearns added: “He’s a really friendly person that people loved – from both clubs and any other clubs, and that’s where you see the breath of the football community coming together in an extraordinarily short period of time to raise this type of money.

“So, obviously the family appreciate that, but their minds have been in a different place this week.”

Burhou Island near Alderney
The family was shown the search area which included Burhou Island near Alderney

An official search for 28-year-old Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, of Crowle, Lincolnshire, was called off on Thursday, with Mr Barker saying the chance of them being alive was “extremely remote”.

But, after a plea from his sister not to give up, more than £290,000 was raised for a private search to continue – which is being led by Mr Mearns, said to be a renowned shipwreck hunter.

High-profile donors to the GoFundMe page include France and PSG forward Kylian Mbappe, former West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet and Leicester City winger Demarai Gray.

More than 4,000 people have donated to the page.

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Ms Sala said of her brother: “He’s a fighter, he started his football career from very little… He’s a very humble, family man.

“He was always joking, he was very keen to stay with the family all the time and we know he’s here somewhere and we are here to bring him back”.

Neil Warnock said he remembered Mr Ibbotson as a "fabulous pilot"
Neil Warnock said he remembered Mr Ibbotson as a “fabulous pilot”

Speaking for the first time since Sala disappeared, Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock said he could understand Sala’s family’s stance on keeping the search going.

“If it was my kid I’d want everybody looking forever,”he said at a press conference  on Monday.

“It’s by far the most difficult week in my career. Even now I can’t get my head round the situation,” he said.

“When I look at Romina and the family, it’s such a difficult time. I keep looking at my own children and thinking what I would be doing now, as well.”

Mr Warnock added he believed he had also been flown by Mr Ibbotson.

“I’d been on a couple of planes like that, but I think the ones I’d be on might have had two engines.

“But I’d been over the top to Nantes a couple of times, and I do think I had that pilot – who I thought was a fabulous pilot.

“So I just can’t comprehend it.”

Map showing location of Alderney and lighthouse
Emiliano Sala was on board a plane bound for Cardiff from Nantes when it disappeared from radar

Argentine striker Sala signed for the Bluebirds from Nantes on Saturday, 19 January and was flying back to Wales from France when the plane disappeared from radar last Monday evening.

At 19:15 GMT, Mr Ibbotson made a request to descend before losing contact with Jersey air traffic control.

Mr Mearns said they had travelled to Guernsey to be near where the plane was last located and to find out about the investigation and what happens next.

He said: “This is a family that has come from Argentina with this huge shock out of nowhere and is struggling with very, very few answers about an unexplained loss.”

He added the family “still have some hope”, saying: “They’re looking at this as a missing person, a missing plane and until they are satisfied, that’s the mode that we are in.”

Emiliano Sala's family arriving at Guernsey Airport
Sala’s family arrived at Guernsey Airport on Sunday

Emiliano Sala's sister Romina at Cardiff City Stadium
Romina Sala visited Cardiff last week and said she believes both Emiliano and the pilot are alive

Mr Mearns said the private search would entail “more investigative technical searches underwater” at some point.

The family have also thanked donors for their “exceptional generosity” after money was raised to pay for a private search.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has begun an investigation which will look at “all operational aspects,” including licensing and flight plans.

The PA-46-310P Malibu aircraft
The PA-46-310P Malibu aircraft Sala and Mr Ibbotson were on board

Tributes have been left outside the Cardiff City Stadium

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Met Office issues snow warning for all of Wales


Snow and ice could bring disruption across Wales, the Met Office has warned.

They issued a yellow warning for the whole of the country and said rain could turn to snow from 12:00 GMT on Tuesday until 11:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Some roads and railways are likely to be affected, with longer journey times expected on the road, and with bus and train services.

There is also an increased risk of slips and falls due to icy surfaces.

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Strong winds brought down a 150-year-old ash tree in Roch, Pembrokeshire, over the weekend

The warning comes less than 24 hours after strong winds in Wales left more than 1,000 homes without power.

Properties were affected on Sunday morning, with most of the outages in Tumble, Carmarthenshire.

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Emiliano Sala: £220,000 raised for private search

Emiliano Sala (left) was on board a plane being flown by pilot David Ibbotson (right)

More than £220,000 has been raised to fund a private search for missing Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala.

The search for Argentine Sala, 28, and 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson was called off on Thursday.

Their plane disappeared, from radar as they flew over the English Channel on their way to Cardiff on Monday night.

A former Guernsey harbourmaster said the search was “like looking for a needle in a haystack, when you don’t even know where the haystack is”.

Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri has joined calls by Sala’s family for the search to resume

Footballers including Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan are among 2,448 people who have contributed to donations for the private search on a GoFundMe page.

Other contributors include Nantes manager Vahid Halilhodzic, Leicester City winger Demarai Gray, Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot and Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso.

Emiliano Sala: Search for footballer and pilot called off

Emiliano Sala: Cardiff City FC player on missing plane

Organisers of the page, Paris-based football agency Sport Cover, hope to raise a total of €300,000 (£260,000).

Sport Cover’s website lists Sala as a client.

Meanwhile, a petition launched in France to have the search resumed has now gathered more than 80,000 signatures.

The under-19s at FC Nantes pose for pictures - wearing t-shirts with the words "We Love You Emi"
The under-19s at FC Nantes have posed wearing t-shirts bearing Sala’s face and the words “We Love You Emi”

The under-19s at FC Nantes pose for pictures - wearing t-shirts with the words 'We Love You Emi'

Sala’s sister Romina has also said she is “convinced Emiliano and the pilot are alive somewhere in the channel”.

“We’re asking please don’t stop with this effort,” she said, during a visit to Cardiff.

Among those joining calls for the search to continue are Barcelona forward Lionel Messi .

Three planes and five helicopters racked up 80 hours combined flying time looking for the plane, working alongside two lifeboats and other passing ships.

Cardiff City tributes
Cardiff City fans have been leaving floral tributes outside the team’s stadium

Guernsey’s harbourmaster Captain David Barker has said the decision to call to call off the search was a “difficult” one, but the chances of survival were “extremely remote” and he was “absolutely confident” no more could have been done.

Peter Gill, the island’s former harbour master, said: “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack when you don’t even know where the haystack is.

“You don’t know which road it’s in, you don’t know which parish it’s in, you don’t even know which county it’s in.”

He added that the sea off Alderney, where the plane lost contact, was anywhere between 50m (164m) to 140m (460ft) deep, with currents measuring up to five knots (6mph).

The PA-46-310P Malibu aircraft
The PA-46-310P Malibu aircraft Sala and Mr Ibbotson were on board

“It’s very cold and it’s also quite challenging in terms of currents and they are very, very seldom slack. The actual chance of getting down and finding something is very, very difficult indeed,” he said.

But diver Richard Keen, who often looks for shipwrecks in the Channel Islands said he thought there was a “fairly good chance of finding the aircraft”.

“All other aircraft which have ditched around Guernsey were found very quickly by crab pot fishermen. When they’re lifting their pots, they drag their pots across the seabed, they tangle in the aircraft,” he said.

“There’s about a 50% chance of finding it in the next three months.”

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has begun an investigation which will look at “all operational aspects,” including licensing and flight plans.

The Piper PA-46 Malibu disappeared over the English Channel with Cardiff City’s new signing and Mr Ibbotson on board.

Mr Ibbotson of Crowle, Lincolnshire, held a private pilot’s licence and passed a medical exam as recently as November, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Sala signed for the Bluebirds from Nantes on Saturday and was flying back to Wales from Nantes when the plane disappeared from radar.

At 19:15 GMT, Mr Ibbotson made a request to descend before losing contact with Jersey air traffic control.

Emiliano Sala was on board a plane bound for Cardiff from Nantes when it disappeared

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Emiliano Sala: Cardiff City FC player on missing plane

By Emmanuel Justices

Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala was on a light aircraft which went missing over the Channel Islands.

The £15m Argentine striker, 28, was one of two people on board the Piper Malibu which lost contact off Alderney in the Channel Islands on Monday night.

Cardiff City,  which signed Sala from French club Nantes in a record deal on Saturday said it was “very shocked”.

Guernsey Police said there was “no trace” of the Cardiff-bound flight and his family said they felt “desperate”.

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Sala’s father, Horacio, told Argentine TV channel C5N, he heard the news from a friend.

“I didn’t know anything. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I’m desperate. I hope everything goes well.”

Meanwhile, John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, said the probability of finding anyone alive from the missing aircraft was “reducing very rapidly”.

Map showing location of Alderney and lighthouse
Map showing location of Alderney and lighthouse

“I think with the sea temperatures and the sea conditions the chances of finding anybody alive are reducing all the time,” he said.

“The sea temperatures are very, very cold and just sap the core temperature of anybody in the water very, very quickly.”

The plane left Nantes in north west France at 19:15 and had been flying at 5,000ft when it contacted Jersey air traffic control requesting descent, Guernsey Police said.

The plane lost contact while at 2,300ft and disappeared off radar near the Casquets lighthouse, infamous among mariners as the site of many shipwrecks, eight miles (13km) north-west of Alderney.

The force added UK authorities have been calling airfields on the south coast to see if it landed there but there had been no confirmations and a decision about an overnight search would be made at sunset.

Cardiff City signed the 28-year-old from French club Nantes

A spokesman for the French Civil Aviation Authority said the Piper PA 46 Malibu aircraft was French but had not been registered in France.

“We can confirm Emiliano Sala was on board,” he said.

“This morning, the French research started with one French national navy ship and one aircraft. The investigation will determined which authority will take the lead on the research.”

Sightings of red flares were reported during a lifeboat and helicopter search, but “nothing of significance was found”, a Channel Islands Air Search spokeswoman said.

Police said on Tuesday more than 1,150sq miles had been searched by five aircraft and two lifeboats. The search had resumed after being called off overnight “due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility”.

Cardiff Airport confirmed the aircraft was due to arrive from Nantes but a spokeswoman said there were no further details.

Guernsey harbour master Captain David Barker said no distress call had been received and if the search continues into the night it is unlikely to have a good outcome.

“It’s far easier to see something on the surface in daylight,” he said. “We are looking for any traces of an aircraft, a life raft, persons in the water, life jackets.”

Flowers have been left outside the Cardiff City Stadium
Flowers have been left outside the Cardiff City Stadium

The Met Office said conditions were not “too intense” at the time the aircraft went missing but had become wetter and windier later in the evening.

John Fernandez, a reporter for BBC Guernsey, said it was a difficult area to search.

“A number of search vessels are out searching the area. It’s known for its strong currents – there are a number of shipwrecks,” he added.

“The search area is absolutely massive at the moment. They’re searching a number of different spots at the moment – they’re not sure whereabouts this plane might have gone down.”

‘Last goodbye’

Cardiff signed Sala for a club record fee after protracted negotiations with Nantes and he was due to join his new teammates for training on Tuesday. Training was cancelled.

In a statement, the club’s chief executive Ken Choo said they were praying for “positive news” for the player and pilot.

Emiliano Sala told Cardiff City he wanted to “start training and get down to work”

He added: “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.”

He has been among the top scorers in France in recent years and had scored 13 league and cup goals this season, third behind Kylian Mbappe and Nicolas Pepe.

When his move to Cardiff was announced, he said: “It gives me great pleasure and I can’t wait to start training, meet my new teammates and get down to work.”

The most recent tweet from Sala’s account was a picture of him and his former team-mates, captioned “La ultima ciao”, or “the last goodbye”.

Sala began his playing career at Argentine side Club Proyecto Crecer, before moving to French club Girondins Bordeaux in 2012.

His previous side, Nantes, has postponed its games against Entente on Wednesday and St Etienne on Saturday, according to its match schedule.

Local journalist Arnaud Wajdzik said the atmosphere in Nantes is “very emotional”, and people planned to gather in the town square this evening for a vigil.

Reacting to the news at Cardiff City Stadium, Keith Morgan, chairman of the Cardiff City Supporters Trust, said he was shocked by the news.

“We’re obviously still hoping it’s not confirmed but when or if it is, we will contact Nantes offering all our help,” he said.

“I think fans realise what’s important and things like this put everything into perspective. Football is important in all our lives but not more than a person’s life.”

Supporter Christopher Jenkins, 45, of Caerphilly, said: “I was nearly crying with my wife – it’s a massive shock to everybody.”

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Londonderry bombing: Third alert follows weekend attack

By Emmanuel Justices

The moment the bomb exploded on Saturday

Three separate security alerts are under way in Londonderry – 48 hours after a bomb exploded in the city.

The area around the courthouse in Bishop Street has now reopened following an explosion in a car on Saturday night.

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Police said four out of five men arrested in connection with the attack have been released unconditionally.

A 50-year-old man arrested earlier on Monday remains in police custody.

car being removed from scene of derry bomb
The remains of the bombed-out car are removed from Bishop Street on Monday night

The PSNI said Saturday’s attack may have been carried out by the New IRA, a dissident republican group.

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On Monday, the Army was called to two security alerts in the city involving reported hijackings.

Army bomb disposal officers carried out a controlled explosion in Creggan’s Circular Road after a vehicle was hijacked by three masked men at 11:30 GMT on Monday.

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The second alert on Southway, also in Creggan, followed reports of a vehicle being hijacked by four masked men at 13:45 GMT.

Security cordons at the scene of both alerts have been reduced in the area to allow some residents who had been moved from their homes to return.

PSNI Supt Gordon McCalmont said the security alerts in Creggan “means even more disruption for the local community.”

Abandoned lorry on Northland Road in derry
A number of residents have been moved from their homes as police deal with an abandoned vehicle on the Northland Road

In a third incident, the police are responding to a report of an abandoned lorry on the Northland Road close to the Glenbank Road junction.

A number of residents have been moved from their homes. A nearby community centre has been opened to people who have been affected.

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan said the area was largely populated by older people.

“When you see frail pensioners in their late 80s and 90s being forced to leave their homes in their dressing gowns, it really is despicable.

“There is a huge sense of anxiety right across the city, and a huge sense of anger right across the city and understandably so,” he said.

What is the New IRA?

  • The New IRA was formed in 2012 after a number of dissident republican organisations said they were unifying under one leadership
  • It is believed to be the largest dissident republican organisation
  • The group is believed to have been responsible for a number of attacks since its formation, including the murders of prison officers David Black and Adrian Ismay.

Mr Durkan added: “This is not serving any purpose, it’s not furthering any cause, and all it’s doing is causing disruption and destruction on our city.”

In a post on the PSNI Foyle Facebook page, police also confirmed “there has been an attempted hijacking of a local bus service” in the Galliagh area of the city”.

Saturday’s bomb exploded outside the city’s courthouse on Bishop Street shortly after a pizza delivery vehicle was hijacked at gun point.

A CCTV clip posted on Twitter by police showed a group of seven young people walking past the vehicle shortly before the blast.

A timeline of events leading up to the explosion in Derry

Addressing MPs in the Commons on Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “This house stands together with the people of Northern Ireland in ensuring that we never go back to the violence and terror of the past.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley told MPs those behind the attack “will never succeed”.

“Londonderry is a city that has thrived since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 20 years ago – everyone can see that – and one that will continue to grow and develop despite the actions of those who seek to sow discord and division,” she said.

police cordon at southway in derry
The alert at Southway is the second in the Creggan area of the city

DUP leader Arlene Foster tweeted that the PSNI “needs our full support to remove those responsible from our streets”.

Sinn Féin councillor Kevin Campbell said there can be “no justification for this type of reckless activity”.

“Those responsible for this disruption have shown complete disregard for the people of Creggan, particularly elderly people who live in this area,” he said.

Houses were evacuated in the Creggan area

Courthouse closed

At the courthouse in Derry, scheduled jury trials have been put off until Wednesday.

Cases listed to be heard in the magistrate’s courts were being held in Strabane, with some other hearings switching to Coleraine.

Forensic officer at the scene of the explosion
A forensic officer examines the remains of the vehicle following Saturday night’s explosion

Driver ‘threatened and intimidated’

PSNI Supt Gordon McCalmont told BBC Radio Foyle the police were trying to get the city back to normal and show the attack had “little or no long-term impact”.

He said the PSNI was “lucky we are not talking about loss of life”.

Supt McCalmont also said the pizza delivery driver whose vehicle was hijacked and used in Saturday’s bombing “had to go through the drama of having a firearm put to his head”.

“He was threatened and intimidated. It would be fair to say he was asked not to raise the alarm.”

He added: “These groupings obviously want us to respond. We will be very balanced. This threat has always been in this city.

“My sense is that this is not because of Brexit.”

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