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Crowdfunding page started for new Sala search surpasses fundraising target

More than £270,000 has been raised since Friday to fund a new search Credit: PA Images

A crowdfunding page has surpassed its target, raising more than £270,000 since Friday to start a new search to find the plane carrying missing footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson.

The Sala family is planning to organise a private search with hired divers, according to Argentinian media outlet Ole.

The Piper PA-46 Malibu plane lost contact with Jersey air traffic control on Monday night, sparking one of the biggest searches the Channel Islands has seen.

Joint air and sea search operations from France, the Channel Islands and the UK scoured more than 1,700 square miles with no trace of the aircraft found.

The rescue efforts were called off on Thursday by Guernsey Police who said the chances of finding anyone alive were "extremely remote".

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and footballing stars Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Sergio Aguero have joined Sala's family in calling for the work to find the plane to continue.

Meanwhile more than 86,000 people have signed an online petition to reopen the search.

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