Over the past few days I have received numerous submissions from people who sent me photos alleging to depict the death of footballer Emiliano Sala. The problem with the previous submissions was that I recognized the photos and knew they were not of Emiliano Sala, because they were posted 2 years ago and were of a Brazilian guy who died after getting swept into the sea by a wave.
The photo submitted by Best Gore member @nathan07746 today seems to be different, though. While I don’t have the means to know 100% if it’s genuine, the tattoo seems legit and reverse image search has no possible results, suggesting it may indeed be genuine.
Who Is Emiliano Sala?
Born in Argentina, Emiliano Sala was drafted to play in Europe for the Football Club of Nantes in France. On January 19, 2019, FC Nantes formalized the transfer of Emiliano Sala to Cardiff City Football Club in Wales. However, two days later, on January 21, 2019, the passenger plane that transported Emiliano Sala disappeared during flight over the English Channel. Air traffic control lost track of the plane at 2,300 feet (700 m) from Guernsey with no distress message received.
The aircraft, a Piper PA-46-310P Malibu propeller single-engined plane was chartered by the Scottish agent close to Cardiff City’s Willie McKay cub, who had negotiated Emiliano Sala’s transfer. It was piloted by David Andrew Ibbotson, an experienced 59-year-old private pilot.
Emiliano Sala was in Cardiff during the negotiations process, but returned to Nantes in order to recover his belongings and say good byes to his former teammates. He was not too impressed with the condition of the aircraft on the way to France, so before returning to Cardiff, he sent a voice message to friends where he jokingly says that his impression of the plane was such that he thought it was going to fall to pieces mid flight and he may never arrive.
Emiliano Sala’s Death
After the disappearance of the plane, an extensive search and rescue operation was carried out by two helicopters and several boats from Saint-Pierre-Port, but no trace of the missing aircraft or its occupants was found. Terrestrial research on neighboring islands and coasts likewise did not yield any results.
On January 24, the chances of finding survivors was being reduced to nothing, and the police announces the cessation of aerial searches. However, the search by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch – a privately hired company – continued.
Eventually, on February 3, 2019 a ship specializing in marine search and rescue, equipped with side scan sonar, detected a wreck at the bottom of the water. The remote-controlled underwater vehicle of another boat identifies the aircraft in which a body was detected. On February 7, it was announced that the body was recovered, but that the aircraft could not be recovered due to adverse weather conditions. The body was entrusted to the police of Dorset who, by the end of the evening, announced to have identified the corpse by its fingerprints as Emiliano Sala. He reportedly died of injuries to his head and torso.
If you look at the images of Emiliano Sala alive, you’ll notice the tattoo on the right arm of the corpse and the one the footballer had on his arm are identical. This image did not exist on the internet prior to Emiliano Sala’s recovery, so this may very well be an actual, genuine death photo of the footballer.
Many thanks to Best Gore member @nathan07746 for the hookup.