Police confirm soccer player Emiliano Sala's body recovered from plane wreckage

Police confirm soccer player Emiliano Sala's body recovered from plane wreckage

"Using specialist equipment the teams succeeded in locating and identifying the plane and recovering Mr Sala's body".

Investigators recovered a body underwater from the wreckage of a plane carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala in the Channel and transported it to the British mainland on Thursday for identification.

In a statement on Thursday night, 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. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts".

Dorset's coroner will continue to investigate the cause of the footballer's death with the help of the police.

The pair went missing on 21 January after the plane they were travelling on from Nantes to Cardiff crashed 21 miles (34km) off the coast of Guernsey.

An AAIB spokesman said bad weather was forecast "for the foreseeable future and so the hard decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close".

Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that bad weather meant they were unable to recover the plane and as a result it was closing down the operation.

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The body was recovered late on Wednesday after the wreckage was found on Sunday morning.

The AAIB said previously that the work of the ROVs has been hampered by the hard tidal conditions around the Channel Islands.

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

"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.

'No-one should walk away with the impression that the Coastguard and also the Channel Islands air search did anything other than a professional job, ' he said.

Sala had agreed to join Welsh club Cardiff for a club-record fee of £15 million (RM79 million) from French Ligue 1 club Nantes. Cardiff are said to be "surprised" with the timing of the demand so soon after the tragedy.

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