Body found in plane wreckage formally identified as that of Emiliano Sala
The Cardiff City striker has been missing since the plane he was a passenger in disappeared over the English Channel on January 21
Dorset Police confirmed on Thursday night that the body discovered inside the wreckage of the plane which went missing over the English Channel in January has been formally identified as that of footballer Emiliano Sala.
Sala was on board a light aircraft being flown by pilot David Ibbotson from the French city of Nantes to the Welsh capital of Cardiff on January 21 when the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers.
The Argentine striker had just days before joined Cardiff as their record signing, and was returning to the city having briefly travelled back to Nantes to bid farewell to teammates and friends.
An extensive search was carried out, before being called off on January 24, before an appeal started Sala's agent raised £324,000 for a private search led by marine scientist David Mearns.
#Update 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 pilot David Ibbotson have been updated. Our thoughts remain with them all
— Dorset Police (@dorsetpolice) February 7, 2019
A statement from Dorset Police stated: "The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, 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.
"HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.
"On Monday 21 January 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."