THE BODY recovered from the wreckage of a plane in the English Channel has been confirmed as that of footballer Emiliano Sala.
The body was recovered on Wednesday following the discovery of the wreckage on Sunday by David Mearns, who oversaw a privately-funded search.
Dorset Police confirmed tonight the remains were those of the Cardiff City player, who had recently signed for the club from French side Nantes.
Sala and the plane’s pilot David Ibbotson had not been seen or heard from since January 21, when their Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft went missing over the English Channel.
“The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday, February 7, 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala,” said a Dorset Police statement.
“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.
“HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.
“On Monday, January 21, 2019 a plane carrying both men was flying from Nantes to Cardiff when it lost contact with Air Traffic Control, north of Guernsey.
“Sadly a search and rescue operation was unsuccessful in locating the plane and the two occupants.
“Subsequently AAIB and privately funded search teams were deployed to the relevant area. Using specialist equipment the teams succeeded in locating and identifying the plane and recovering Mr Sala’s body.”