A body has been recovered on Thursday from the wreckage of the plane in the Channel carrying Argentina footballer Emiliano Sala and transported to Britain for identification.
The recovered body has been taken on board the Geo Ocean III offshore supply ship to the Isle of Portland in southern England and will be now be passed to the coroner in the county of Dorset for identification.
The investigators have not been able to recover the plane from the Channel due to bad weather because of which they decided to close down the operation, Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said.
“In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage,” the AAIB said Wednesday. “The operation was carried out in as dignified a way as possible and the families were kept informed of progress. The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close.”
The AAIB are expected to publish an interim report on the accident later this month. Sala’s sister recently shared a picture of their dog waiting for him at the door, an image that has broken hearts on social media.
Sala, who recently became Premier League side Cardiff City’s most expensive signing, was travelling in the aircraft to join his new team when the plane disappeared near the British island of Guernsey on January 21. Along with Sala, the plane was carrying 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson.
The football world including his former club Nantes expressed grief upon his disappearance after search operations failed to locate the plane. His family then hired a shipwreck hunter through funds collected from donations from the football world including Lionel Messi.