Sport

Body found at site of plane wreck identified as Sala

Body found at site of plane wreck identified as Sala”

LONDON, Feb 8 ― The body of Argentina-born professional football player Emiliano Sala has been formally identified after it was brought to Portland Port yesterday, United Kingdom police said in a statement.

A couple of weeks earlier, an aircraft carrying the Argentine and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared on its way to Cardiff.

A body retrieved from the wreckage of a crashed plane in the English Channel has been formally identified as Cardiff City's Argentina-born soccer player Emiliano Sala, British police said in a statement on Thursday.

Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which recovered the body, said that bad weather in the busy shipping thoroughfare meant it was unable to recover the plane and as a result was closing down the operation.

Sala, 28, had been flying from his previous club Nantes in western France to Wales on January 21 to make his debut for the Premier League team when the single-engined Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared over the sea.

And now Dorset Police have confirmed the body to be that of Sala.

In a statement on Thursday night police said they "will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers".

Ibbotson declared an emergency to Guernsey air traffic control in the Channel Islands before the plane went off radar near to the islands' Alderney airport.

An official search operation was called off on January 24 after Guernsey's harbour master David Barker said the chances of survival after such a long period were "extremely remote".

The remains of the aircraft were tracked down by a team co-ordinated by ocean scientist David Mearns, who has located some of the most elusive wrecks in the world. Our thoughts remain with them at this hard time.

"Had that not happened, I don't think anybody would have searched for the plane", shipwreck hunter David Mearns, whose private company found the plane, told AFP.

Cardiff had signed Sala for a club record £15m (€17m) and he was due to start training last month.

Although Nantes were entitled to the first instalment of Sala's fee by now, the Premier League side have been left surprised by the demand given the tragic circumstances.



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