UK authorities have recovered a body from the wreckage of the plane which crashed with Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board.
In a statement to CNN on Wednesday night, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: “Following extensive visual examination of the accident site using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV), it was decided to attempt recovery operations.
“In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage.”
The AAIB did not specify whether the body was Sala’s or of the pilot’s.
The body has been carried to the Isle of Portland and would be sent to the Dorset coroner. Crews could not recover the wreckage of the Piper Malibu at this time because of weather conditions, the statement added.
Sala, 28, and the 59-year-old Ibbotson were flying in the single-turbine aircraft from Nantes, France, to Cardiff, Wales, when it disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands on January 21.
The Argentine striker had recently signed with English Premier League club Cardiff City for a reported $19.3 million from French club Nantes and was heading to the Welsh capital after saying farewell to his former team-mates in France, reports CNN.
Wreckage from the plane thought to be carrying the footballer was found on Sunday by a privately funded search team working in close coordination with the AAIB.
The same day, the AAIB had also begun a three-day underwater search of an area 4 square nautical miles off the island of Guernsey.
Last week, Cardiff City and Nantes both held emotional tributes to Sala before their matches.