Emiliano Sala died from injuries to "head and trunk" after plane crash in English Channel, inquest reveals

The doomed plane was carrying the 28-year-old Argentinian football star and was being piloted by 59-year-old David Ibbotson, whose body is yet to be located


                            Emiliano Sala died from injuries to "head and trunk" after plane crash in English Channel, inquest reveals

Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala died from injuries to head and trunk following the crash of his plane in the English Channel, an inquest heard on Monday after his body was identified by his fingerprints last week.

Sala's devastated family paid tribute to the Argentinian last week after it was confirmed that the body recovered from the submerged plain wreck was his. Investigators recovered the footballer's body on Wednesday from the wreckage of the aircraft that had crashed into the English Channel with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board.

The plane's wreckage and a body inside it was spotted nearly two weeks after the aircraft's disappearance. The Piper Malibu plane was found by a privately-funded search crew on February 3 after it disappeared from radar over the English Channel on January 21.

The plane was carrying the 28-year-old Argentinian football star from Nantes in France to Cardiff after his £15m move to Cardiff City and was being piloted by 59-year-old Ibbotson,whose body is yet to be recovered.

Fans pay tribute to Emiliano Sala prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal and Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium on January 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)
Fans pay tribute to Emiliano Sala prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal and Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium on January 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)

An inquest opened into Sala's death on Monday in Dorset heard how a post-mortem confirmed that the footballer died from "head and trunk" injuries. The inquest was reportedly told that the investigators identified his body using his fingerprints after it was recovered on February 4.

The inquest has now been adjourned until November 6 for a pre-inqest interview, according to The Sun.

Although the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) will not publish a full report of the case for six to 12 months, it has announced to release an interim report within a fortnight.

A senior coroner's officer for Dorset, Ian Parry, at the inquest said: "Mr Sala was identified on the 7th February by means of fingerprint evidence analyses by fingerprint expert Christopher Bradbury. A post mortem was carried out after the body was taken to Holly Tree Lodge mortuary. Home office pathologist Mr Purdue gave the cause of death as a head and trunk injuries."

Romina Sala (R), sister of Emiliano Sala, visits tributes at the Cardiff City Stadium on January 25, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Getty Images)
Romina Sala (R), sister of Emiliano Sala, visits tributes at the Cardiff City Stadium on January 25, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Getty Images)

Sala's family also released a confirmation, saying: "It is with infinite sadness that we confirm the identity of Emiliano's body. We would like to thank you for all your signs of affection and support in what is the most painful time of our lives. Seeing the whole world mobilised to support us in our research has been an infinitely precious help. Thanks to you, we are now able to mourn our son, our brother."

Meanwhile, a search is still ongoing for Ibbotson. The fresh search was spurred after a GoFundMe page set up for him assisted in funding a private search for the pilot's body. Reports state that the search operation got a huge boost after footballer Kylian Mbappe donated £27,000 and Gary Lineker handed over £1,000.

An official search into the incident was called off on January 24, however, over £300,000 was raised by football stars across the world to help fund for a private search. Football legend Lionel Messi also contributed funds for the search operation.