A report was released recently by the Air Accident Investigation Branch who confirmed that former Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson were exposed to harmful levels of carbon monoxide which could have resulted in the plane crash that caused their deaths.
Sala had just signed for Cardiff City for £15m from Nantes. He had chartered a flight piloted by David Ibbotson to arrive at his new club.
However, the plane in question crashed into the English channel, resulting in the deaths of both Sala and Ibbotson.
Emiliano Sala, pilot could have been killed by carbon monoxide inhalation
Investigations were conducted regarding the incident and a toxicology report confirmed that the two were exposed to harmful levels of carbon monoxide in the cockpit.
The amount present was reportedly enough to cause seizures and unconsciousness and could have affected the pilot’s ability to fly the plane.
Carbon monoxide is produced by the plane’s engine. However, under normal circumstances, it is removed in the exhaust system. Leaks in the ventilation system could result in it entering the cockpit, which would prove fatal to anyone inside the plane.
Cause of death, crash still a mystery
Daniel Machover, Sala’s family lawyer released a statement saying:
“Dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide have been found in Emiliano’s body. This raises many questions for the family. How he died will be determined at the inquest in due course.
“The family believe that a detailed technical examination of the plane is necessary. The family and the public need to know how the carbon monoxide was able to enter the cabin. Future air safety rests on knowing as much as possible on this issue.”
Sala’s body was recovered from the bottom of the sea in February this year. However, the pilot’s has still not been found.
The wreckage of the plane, meanwhile, was discovered in the Channel Islands.