Guernsey Police have confirmed the search and rescue operation for the plane carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala has been suspended until sunrise on Wednesday.
The French civil aviation authority confirmed to Sky Sports News that Sala was on board an aircraft which disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands on Monday evening.
A search and rescue operation was launched that night and carried on until 2am on Tuesday, before being called off and then resuming at 8am.
The search was suspended again on Tuesday evening shortly after 5pm, with plans for it to resume at sunrise on Wednesday.
An update released on Twitter by Guernsey Police read: “Search and rescue operations have been suspended as the sun has now set.
“The current plan is for it to resume at sunrise tomorrow. There will be no further updates tonight.”
Guernsey Police had earlier confirmed that a “number of floating objects” were found in the water before the search was suspended, although rescuers were unable to ascertain if they were from the missing aircraft.
John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Island Air Search, says a cushion and bent piece of metal were among the objects recovered.
“The [search] aircraft found various bits of debris and it guided the lifeboat and a nearby fishing boat into the area to have a look at it,” Fitzgerald told SSN.
“The notes from the search director say they found a cushion, a bright orange item beside a dull coloured box and lots of white items in the water floating alongside a piece of white metal, which was a bit bent – apparently, just looking at the notes I have just received.”
Fitzgerald says the Channel Island Air Search now believe the aircraft broke up after crashing in the Channel.
“Judging by the information we have received from the crew on board the [search] aircraft, then yes, we think the aircraft did break up when it hit the water,” he said.
Fitzgerald expects the search operation to resume when visibility improves on Wednesday morning.
“We expect to be called at around seven o’clock in the morning so that we get time to get to the airport,” he said.
“Nothing is too far over here thankfully. We will be able to get airborne and ready while the light comes up.”