Rescuers have managed to recover a body from the wreckage of the plane that flew Argentine football player Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said.
The 28-year-old Argentina-born Cardiff City footballer Sala was the only passenger on the aircraft when it went missing on January 21. The plane was discovered on the seabed of the English Channel last week, but it took days for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to pull out the remains. One body had been “successfully recovered,” AAIB said in a statement on Wednesday night.
“In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage. The operation was carried out in as dignified a way as possible and the families were kept informed of progress,” the investigators said. However, they did not say whether the body recovered was that of the Argentinian star or the pilot.
The Piper Malibu N264DB plane went off radars during the journey from Nantes, France to Cardiff on January 21.
After weeks of searching, the aircraft was discovered in 63 meters of water by a shipwreck hunter David Mearns just off the island of Guernsey in the English Channel near the French coast. The AAIB has promised to produce an interim report into the cause of the crash within a month.