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Body found in English Channel plane wreckage identified as Emiliano Sala

Picture credited to Cardiff City FC

Dorset Police have confirmed the body recovered from the wreckage of a plane which crashed over the English Channel is that of footballer Emiliano Sala.

The body was recovered from the scene - north of the Channel Island of Guernsey - and taken to Portland Port in Dorset for formal identification.

The footballer was in a light aircraft which came down last month - the pilot David Ibbotson's not been found.

A Police spokesperson confirmed the news in the following statement:

"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."

Emiliano Sala's sister has paid tribute to the 28 year-old, saying his soul will shine forever.

David Mearns, who led the private search which originally discovered the wreckage, shared this message on social media.

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