Body recovered from wreckage of plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala

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A body has been recovered from the wreckage of the plane that was carrying Argentina-born professional football player Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in Britain, which disclosed this late on Wednesday, however did not give the identity of the body.

The 28-year-old Sala had been en route from Nantes in western France on Jan. 21 to make his debut for English Premier League team Cardiff City when the plane disappeared.

The wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search of the English Channel where the plane crashed into.

The body was “successfully recovered” but attempts to recover the aircraft wreckage were unsuccessful, the AAIB said in a statement.

The body that was recovered from the wreckage was being taken to the Isle of Portland to be passed to the Dorset coroner. No details have been released concerning its identification.

An official search was called off on 24 January after Guernsey’s harbour master said the chances of survival were “extremely remote”.

However, the wreckage was located thanks to a privately funded operation led by marine scientist and oceanographer David Mearns. He called in the Air Accidents Investigation Branch after using sonar and a submersible device fitted with cameras to confirm it was the plane.

The overall operation was brought to an end due to “poor weather conditions,” the agency said.

Sala had agreed to join Welsh club Cardiff for a club-record fee of £15 million from French Ligue 1 club Nantes.

He and the pilot are believed to have died as the single-engined Piper Malibu aircraft crashed into the sea

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Sala’s former club, French Ligue 1 side Nantes, has demanded Cardiff City pay his £15m transfer fee.

Sala, 28, was Cardiff’s record signing but never played for the club.

The fee was due to be paid over three years but Cardiff have withheld the first scheduled payment until they are satisfied with the documentation.


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