Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala may have died even before the private plane that was to take him to Cardiff crashed new findings have revealed.
Sala who sealed a deal with Cardiff but could not join the club following the crash into the English Channel, is said to have been poised by carbon monoxide and had toxic levels in his blood that could have killed him even before his private plane crashed into the English Channel.
The 28-year-old striker’s pilot David Ibbotson, 59, from Scunthorpe, was also exposed to ‘potentially fatal’ amounts of the gas but his body has never been found.
An interim report published by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch this Wednesday afternoon revealed that the footballer had CO saturation levels of 58 per cent in his blood stream.
Doctors have told crash investigators that without medical treatment levels in excess of 50 per cent, usually causes seizures, then unconsciousness, followed by cardiac arrest and death.
Experts from the UK AAIB fear fumes from the Piper PA-46 Malibu’s engine may have leaked into the cabin as it flew from Nantes to Cardiff and poisoned the two men on board.
There are fears the aircraft’s heating system may have pumped in deadly carbon monoxide because Mr Sala and Mr Ibbotson were flying from France to Britain in freezing conditions on January 21 this year.
It is not known if the plane had a carbon monoxide alarm on board
A spokesman for Cardiff City said: ‘The AAIB’s latest report which once again highlights that the aircraft used for Emiliano Sala was not appropriate.
“We continue to believe that those who were instrumental in arranging its usage are held to account for this tragedy.”
Today’s bombshell raises the prospect that the footballer may have blacked out or even died before the small plane ploughed into the sea 22 miles off Guernsey.