Emiliano Sala’s body has been officially identified after it was recovered from the plane wreckage at the bottom of the English Channel.
In the hours since the tragic news was revealed, the professional footballer’s sister Romina posted a heartbreaking tribute to him.
The post on Instagram shows Emiliano standing with his arms wide open with what appears to be the Nantes Stadium in France behind him.
The tribute comes just hours after Emiliano’s body was identified. Credit: Romina Sala/Instagram
Her caption, which is written in Spanish, reads: “Your soul in my soul, it will shine forever, thus illuminating the time of my existence.
“I love you, Tito.”
Dorset Police released a statement following Sala’s identification, saying: “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. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.
“HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.
“On Monday 21 January 2019 a plane carrying both men was flying from Nantes to Cardiff when it lost contact with Air Traffic Control, north of Guernsey.”
Emiliano’s sister Romina and his mum Mercedes. Credit: PA
There is no update about the location of pilot David Ibbotson, however the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) said two days ago that it was suspending its search for the missing man due to bad conditions.
The organisation said: “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.
“Unfortunately, attempts to recover the aircraft wreckage were unsuccessful before poor weather conditions forced us to return the ROV to the ship.
Cardiff has been mourning the loss of their player. Credit: PA
“The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close.
“Although it was not possible to recover the aircraft, the extensive video record captured by the ROV is expected to provide valuable evidence for our safety investigation.
“We expect our next update to be an interim report, which we intend to publish within one month of the accident occurring.”
Before the AAIB stepped in, oceanographer, marine scientist and well-known shipwreck hunter David Mearns launched a survey vessel and confirmed the wreckage had been found after ‘a couple of hours’ of searching the seabed of the English Channel.
Featured Image Credit: PA