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Body brought up from plane wreck is Emiliano Sala’s

‘Dignified’: The body is moved off the quay in Portland, Dorset PICTURE: PA

THE body recovered from the underwater wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala has been formally identified as the footballer, police said.

Sala (below) was identified by the Dorset coroner yesterday, a day after his body was pulled from the plane flown by pilot David Ibbotson.

The families of both men had been informed, Dorset Police confirmed.

The force said last night: ‘The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday, 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.’

Cardiff City Football Club said: ‘We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.’

The Piper Malibu N264DB plane lost contact with air traffic control over the Channel, north of Guernsey, on January 21.

An initial search and rescue operation failed to locate the plane but it was later discovered by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and privately funded search teams.

The aircraft remains 67 metres underwater, 21 miles off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel as poor weather conditions stopped efforts to recover it.

The AAIB said the operation to recover the body had been carried out ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ in ‘challenging conditions’. It expects to publish an interim report within the month.

Cardiff had signed Sala for a club record £15million and he was due to start training last month. Nantes has demanded payment from Cardiff for the player’s transfer.