Categories: Sports

UK Air Investigators Recover Body From Plane Wreckage Believed To Be Emiliano Sala

It is a sad day for football fans as Dorset Police have confirmed the identity of the body of missing Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala.

In a statement, Dorset police said “the body brought to Portland Port today has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala. 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. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.” Police also said that they will continue to investigate the “circumstances of this death.”

A body is recovered from the wreckage of a plane carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala at Weymouth harbour. Photo: AFP

Sala, 28, and the 59-year-old Ibbotson were flying in the single-turbine aircraft from Nantes, in northern France, to Cardiff in Wales, when it disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands on 21 January.

The Argentine striker had recently signed with English Premier League club Cardiff City for a reported £15 million ($19.3 million) from French club Nantes and was heading to the Welsh capital after saying farewell to his former teammates in France.

Wreckage from the plane thought to be carrying the footballer was found Sunday by a privately funded search team working in close coordination with theAir Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

On Sunday, the AAIB had also begun a three-day underwater search of an area 4 square nautical miles off the island of Guernsey.

David Mearns, a marine scientist leading the private search team hired by Sala’s family, said the wreckage of the plane had been located by sonar equipment at a depth of about 63 meters within the first couple of hours of starting Sunday’s search.

Experts on the larger vessel, Geo Ocean III, used by the air investigators confirmed it was the missing Piper Malibu aircraft.

Speaking on BBC’s Today show, Mearns said the wreckage was surprisingly intact and added that the family would “desperately” like the plane to be recovered.

Crowdfunding campaign

The official search operation was called off on 24 January after Guernsey’s harbormaster, Capt. David Barker, said, “The chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote.”

That decision prompted tearful pleas from Sala’s family, who urged officials to “use all means possible” to find out what happened to the plane that had requested descent on passing Guernsey, but disappeared from radar at about 2,300 feet.

The private search mission was financed through a crowdfunding campaign, with French World Cup star Kylian Mbappe among the footballers donating to the initiative.

In revealing he had been in touch with Sala’s family and agent, Mearns added: “They felt they have done beyond what any sort of normal family would have ever done in raising this money to conduct a privately funded search to go out there and get this result so quickly and now they feel it’s the responsibility of the government to take the next step.”

On 30 January, seat cushions believed to be from the missing plane were found on a beach near Surtainville, on the northwest coast of France.

Nantes supporters pay a tribute to Nantes’ Argentinian forward Emilianio Sala during the French L1 football match between FC Nantes and AS Saint Etienne (ASSE) on 30 January. Photo: AFP

Cardiff City and Nantes had both held emotional tributes to Sala before their matches.

Nantes manager Vahid Halilhodzic was reduced to tears when play was briefly stopped in the ninth minute – Sala’s squad number – of Nantes’ Ligue 1 match with Saint-Etienne.

Speaking publicly on 28 January for the first time since it emerged that Sala was on board the plane, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said he had considered retiring during “by far the most difficult week in my career by an absolute mile.”

Source: Aimee Lewis, James Masters, Sebastian Shukla/CNN International

Related: Football Fans Mourn the Loss of Leicester City Owner

Published by

Recent Posts

AIRA Residence: How this Artfully Designed Abode Redefines Luxury Living

The exclusive development is a lesson in intuitive refinement. Here, a look at how the sky homes of AIRA Residence…

8 months ago

Discover the Biodiverse World of Langkawi with a Passionate Conservationist

Meet Dev, Lord of the Jungle, as he shows us the sheer beauty and importance of this ancient rainforest.

8 months ago

Nespresso and Fashion Designer Angel Chen Hop into the Year of the Rabbit Together

Treat your family and friends to a specially curated collection of Nespresso flavours, coffee recipes and gifts this Chinese New…

8 months ago

Riding into 2023 with Peace of Mind

Simple but valuable tips from the mechanics at Honda Big Wing.

8 months ago

10 Spooktacular Movies and Shows to Watch

It’s the only appropriate way to celebrate Friday the 13th

9 months ago

The Healing Power of Forest Bathing in Langkawi

Discover the Malay Wellness Journey at The Datai Langkawi

9 months ago