Emiliano Sala: Body recovered from plane identified as missing footballer

The aircraft, which was also carrying the pilot David Ibbotson, crashed on 21 January, en route from Nantes to Cardiff.

Written by Newsroom Staff February 8, 2019 14:01

New Delhi: The body recovered from a plane that crashed in the Channel has been formally identified as that of the Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala

, police have said.

The aircraft, which was also carrying the pilot David Ibbotson, crashed on 21 January, en route from Nantes to Cardiff.

“The body brought to Portland port has been formally identified by HM coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala,” Dorset police said.

“The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially trained family liaison officers.”

Cardiff City said: “We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will for ever remain in our thoughts.”

Efforts then began to recover and identify the body, though they were made more difficult by poor weather conditions. On Thursday, after the body was brought to Portland in Dorset by the Geo Ocean III boat, police confirmed it was that of the footballer.

Sala had recently been signed by the Premier League club from the French Ligue 1 side Nantes. He was returning to south Wales from the French city, which he had visited to say goodbye to old friends and teammates, when the crash occurred.

Dorset police said the coroner would continue to investigate the circumstances of Sala’s death, supported by its officers. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch also said it had decided not to continue efforts to raise the plane, which it had surveyed using a remotely operated vehicle.