Emiliano Sala crash investigators launch bid to recover body from wreckage

EMILIANO Sala crash investigators are attempting to recover a body found in the sunken wreckage of the plane carrying the Cardiff City star from the English Channel.


Posted Wednesday, February 06, 2019 by Dailystar.co.uk

Sala’s plane went down over the English Channel while he was flying from Nantes to join his new club Cardiff City.

Rescuers spent 13 days hunting the Piper Malibu, only to reveal the discovery on the sea bed late on Sunday.

Air Accidents Investigation Branch officials have now confirmed they are attempting to recover a body from the wreckage.

It was confirmed a person was visible in the wreck, which was about 67m deep, but the identity has not been confirmed.

The football world has been left in shock by the tragic incident, with the 28-year-old ready to start as a record signing for Cardiff.

Emiliano Sala crash investigators launch bid to recover body from wreckage
FOUND: Emiliano Sala's plane was found sunken beneath the English Channel (Pic: PA)

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, 58, took off from Nantes after he had said his farewells to his former club on January 22.

The Argentine star never arrived in Cardiff and a massive search was launched.

Rescuers are also hoping to lift the wreck of the plane completely – but have admitted conditions are difficult.

Using an underwater drone – or ROV – the AAIB are hoping to recover the body so it may be identified.

Emiliano Sala crash investigators launch bid to recover body from wreckage
SIGNED: Emiliano Sala was a recording signing for Cardiff City (Pic: GETTY)

Emiliano Sala crash investigators launch bid to recover body from wreckage
TRIBUTES: Emiliano Sala's disappearance has sparked an outpouring of grief across football (Pic: REUTERS)

"We are attempting to recovery the body," an AAIB official said this afternoon.

"If we are successful, we will consider the feasibility of recovering the aircraft wreckage.

"Strong tidal conditions mean we can only use the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for limited periods each day and this will mean that progress is slow.

"Regardless of the results, we will not be making a further statement until the families have been informed."

Emiliano Sala crash investigators launch bid to recover body from wreckage
VANISHED: Emiliano Sala was flying from Nantes to join Cardiff City (Pic: PA)

No time timeframe has yet to be set to lift the wreck of the plane completely, as the tides are making work difficult.

James Hotson, a spokesman for the AAIB, said on Tuesday that analysis of the plane in situ is still ongoing.

He added: "We can't give an indication at the moment of when [the plane] will be raised and we haven't given an indication at the moment that we are going to raise it."

Yesterday, Sala's ex-girlfriend Berenice Schkair shared a picture of her former lover with the caption #prayforsala in a touching tribute.

Emiliano Sala crash investigators launch bid to recover body from wreckage
HEARTBREAK: Emiliano Sala was honoured at Cardiff City's match (Pic: REUTERS)

Mr Hotson said there was always a possibility that the wreck would not be raised and that a decision would be made on the advice of salvage experts.

"At the moment we are still conducting research - all I can say is that an announcement will be made when we are able to," he said.

Mr Hotson said that, if lifted, the wreckage would most likely be taken to an English port before being transferred to the AAIB's laboratory in Farnborough, east Hampshire.

Marine scientist David Mearns, who co-ordinated the discovery of the plane, said it was "imperative" the aircraft was lifted to provide answers to the victims' families.

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