Emiliano Sala: Police investigate online photo said to be of plane crash victim

Emiliano Sala
Police say they are investigating with a number of agencies "how the picture was taken"

A photo said to be of the body of Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala, who was killed in a plane crash earlier this year, has been posted online, prompting a police inquiry.

The 28-year-old's body was found in the wreckage of a light aircraft in the English Channel two weeks after the plane vanished near Guernsey.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: "We are aware that a picture reported to be of Mr Sala's body has been shared on social media channels and are disgusted that somebody did this."

He added: "It is clearly a very difficult time for Mr Sala's family and they should not have to endure additional pain that this shameful act will undoubtedly cause.

"We are investigating this incident and are working together with a number of agencies to establish how the picture was taken and who is responsible."

The Argentine striker had been travelling in a Piper Malibu plane to his first training session at Cardiff City, after completing a £15m club record move from Nantes FC, when it crashed on 21 January.

The body of the pilot, David Ibbotson, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, has not been found.

A Cardiff spokesman said: "Cardiff City FC expresses its disgust and outrage at the individual/individuals who thoughtlessly took and shared the image."

Air accident investigators' photo showing the rear left side of the fuselage
Air accident investigators' photo showing the rear left side of the fuselage on the seabed, from where Sala's body was recovered

On Friday it was announced that Sala's father, Horacio Sala, had died after suffering a heart attack, three months after his son's death.

Sala's body was recovered from the wreckage in the Channel on 8 February, after a private rescue team took over the search for the missing plane.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) are still looking into why the plane crashed.

The legality of Sala's flight has not yet been established, but a preliminary AAIB report in February said the pilot was not licensed to carry fee-paying passengers and the plane was not registered for commercial flights.

On 15 April, Cardiff City submitted evidence to football's world governing body, Fifa, in a dispute with Nantes over the £15m transfer fee for Sala.

Cardiff have so far refused to make an interim payment towards the fee for the striker.

The Premier League club claim the deal was not legally binding and Nantes referred the dispute to Fifa,

An inquest into the death of Sala was opened and adjourned at Bournemouth Coroner's Court on 11 February.

Map of location where plane disappeared
The location of where the plane carrying Emiliano Sala disappeared

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