7 Feb 2019

Body recovered from wreckage of Sala plane

5:08 pm on 7 February 2019

Authorities have recovered a body from the seabed wreckage of a plane that was carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala and his pilot.

Part of the wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft that disappeared two weeks ago carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson lying on the seabed under the English Channel.

Footage from the wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson lying on the seabed of the English Channel. Photo: AFP

However, British air accident investigators have yet to say whether the body was that of Sala, who had just signed for Premier League club Cardiff, or pilot David Ibbotson. They were the only two people onboard the small aircraft that disappeared from radar over the English Channel last month.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch says the body was recovered in "challenging conditions" with the "operation was carried out in as dignified a way as possible and the families were kept informed of progress."

Emiliano Sala vanished during a flight from Nantes, western France, to Cardiff in Wales.

A memorial held for Emiliano Sala. Photo: AFP

The body will be handed over to a coroner, and police are expected to provide a confirmed identity of the body after a full examination.

Investigators have not been able to recover the aircraft which was flying from Nantes to Cardiff.

The flight had been carrying Argentine striker Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, from Nantes, north west France, to Cardiff after Sala completed his £15m move to English Premier League side Cardiff City.

However, the AAIB says that video from a remote underwater vehicle "is expected to provide valuable evidence for our safety investigation."


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