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Body from plane wreckage identified as footballer Sala, UK police say

08 February, 2019, 10:55 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • Credit PA

The families of Sala and Ibbotson have been informed about the latest developments and the investigation into the circumstances of the death continues, police said yesterday.

The wreckage of the plane that was carrying the two men was found in the sea off the Channel Islands on Sunday. "Our thoughts remain with them at this hard time", Dorset Police wrote, adding that they were continuing an investigation of his death with HM Coroner.

"This morning (Thursday) ... the body was brought to Portland Port, Dorset, as this is the nearest part of the British mainland to where the plane was located", said the police statement.

"Subsequently AAIB [Air Accidents Investigation Branch] and privately funded search teams were deployed to the relevant area".

Though Sala's body has since been identified, investigators have not yet found Ibbotson, BBC reported.

The investigation to find the plane was initially called off after three days, but Sala's family raised the funds to keep the search alive, with thanks to donations from global football community.

The 28-year-old had agreed to leave Nantes in France for Cardiff in the Premier League for a reported £15 million (17 million euros; $19.3 million) last month.

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"We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano".

The remains of the aircraft were tracked down by a team co-ordinated by ocean scientist David Mearns, who has located some of the most elusive wrecks in the world.

"In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage".

"I was glad to provide some small comfort to Romina, Mercedes and the whole Sala family during the past two weeks but my heart goes out to the family and friends of David Ibbotson whose loss is the same".

The Premier League side ended their statement with '#CityAsOne, ' but they are not alone in this mourning.

Dorset Police have now confirmed that the body is that of Sala, who was travelling to Cardiff just days after joining the Bluebirds in a club-record £15m deal.

On January 30, Nantes also paid tribute to their former player.

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