London, Feb 8 (IANS) The body recovered from the wreckage of a crashed plane has been identified as that of the missing Argentine footballer and Cardiff City player, Emiliano Sala, UK police has confirmed.
Sala, 28, was travelling to Cardiff in a plane piloted by David Ibbotson, which went missing over the English Channel on January 21, reports the BBC.
The Argentine’s body was recovered late on Wednesday after the wreckage was found on Sunday morning.
Dorset Police confirmed the identification on Thursday night.
“The body brought to Portland Port today (Thursday) has been formally identified as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.
“The families of Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news…,” the force said in a statement.
The Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) said the search and rescue operation had been carried out “as dignified a way as possible” and the men’s families were kept updated throughout.
The Geo Ocean III, which was involved in finding the wreckage, took the body back to the nearest port of Portland in Dorset, where the body was formally identified.
Meanwhile, Ibbotson’s body is yet to be found.
The Piper Malibu N264DB was en route from France to Cardiff, after the Argentine striker made a quick trip back to his former club Nantes two days after his 15 million pounds transfer to Cardiff was announced, the BBC reported.
Cardiff City issued a statement shortly after identification was confirmed, saying: “We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.”