Body from plane wreckage identified as soccer player Sala: UK police

Credit PA

The footballing world has paid tribute to Emiliano Sala after his body was identified in the wreckage of a plane which crashed in the English Channel.

His families who have been hoping for him to survive have been told the devastating news and they are being supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.

The wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search, and Dorset Police have confirmed that the body recovered from the wreckage was that of Sala.

Police said the coroner would continue to investigate the circumstances of this death.

The light aircraft was carrying the 28-year-old footballer to his new Premier League team Cardiff City when it disappeared near the British island of Guernsey on January 21, along with 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson.

Yesterday the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) recovered one body from the wreckage in "as dignified way as possible".

Dorset Police confirmed the identification on Thursday night.

The remains of the plane were discovered on Sunday evening - nearly two weeks after it disappeared as it travelled from Nantes in France to Cardiff.

"We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano", Cardiff City said in a statement on Thursday.

"Using specialist equipment the teams succeeded in locating and identifying the plane and recovering Mr Sala's body".

The body was spotted in the wreckage of the plane on Monday and the authorities were able to recover it two days later, despite "challenging conditions".

Investigators said they plan to release an interim report into the accident.

The Argentine was set to debut as Premier League club Cardiff's record signing after moving for around $A27 million.

He was born in Argentina, made his name in France but lost his life over the English Channel on his way to play for a Welsh club.

"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".

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