Police Body found in plane confirmed as footballer Emiliano Sala

Flowers and tributes are placed near a giant

APFlowers and tributes are placed near a giant

Dorset Police has confirmed that the body recovered from the wreckage of a plane that crashed in the English Channel is that of professional footballer, Emiliano Sala.

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

Sala's family and that of pilot David Ibbotson have been told the news and will "continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers", added the statement. "He and David will forever remain in our thoughts".

Police said an investigation into the circumstances of the death was continuing.

Dorset Police released a statement on their website and identified ‏the body as the missing footballer's.

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.

On Saturday Cardiff players held up a t-shirt bearing the image of Sala, who never played a game for the club, after the team scored in the fifth minute against Bournemouth.

Poor weather conditions stopped efforts to recover the aircraft, which remains 67m (220ft) underwater.

Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that bad weather meant they were unable to recover the plane and as a result it was closing down the operation.

An AAIB spokesman said bad weather was forecast "for the foreseeable future and so the hard decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close".

A body has been recovered from the site of Sala's plane wreckage.

Ibbotson declared an emergency to Guernsey air traffic control in the Channel Islands before the plane went off radar near to the islands' Alderney airport.

An official search operation was called off on 24 January after Guernsey's harbour master David Barker said the chances of survival following such a long period were "extremely remote".

Mr Mearns - known as the "Shipwreck Hunter" - and his team located the aircraft within two hours of commencing their search.

Sala had been flying in to join up with his new club Cardiff City in what was the most expensive signing in the Welsh club's history.

Sala was headed to Cardiff to make his debut in the English Premier League after departing the French soccer club FC Nantes.

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