'Severe Poisoning': Doomed Footballer Sala's Pilot Fell Victim to Carbon Monoxide Before 2019 Crash

© AP Photo / Thibault CamusNantes soccer team supporters stand by a poster of Argentinian player Emiliano Sala and reading "Let's keep hope" outside La Beaujoire stadium before the French soccer League One match Nantes against Saint-Etienne, in Nantes, western France, Wednesday, Jan.30, 2019
Nantes soccer team supporters stand by a poster of Argentinian player Emiliano Sala and reading Let's keep hope outside La Beaujoire stadium before the French soccer League One match Nantes against Saint-Etienne, in Nantes, western France, Wednesday, Jan.30, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.03.2022
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The light aircraft carrying Emiliano Sala from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff in Wales disappeared over the English Channel days after his £15 million transfer deal with Premier League side Cardiff City was struck.
The light plane carrying deceased Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala crashed because carbon monoxide filled the cabin and overcame the pilot, it has been detailed in evidence given to the inquest into the January 2019 death of the former forward at French League 1 club Nantes.
A pathologist said tests on samples taken from Sala's remains showed a 58 percent concentration of the deadly gas, a level he described as "severe poisoning."
Officials from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) believe a faulty exhaust on the Piper PA-46 Malibu single-engine propeller aircraft was the likely cause of the January 21 accident near Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
The plane carrying Sala from Nantes to Cardiff in Wales disappeared over the English Channel days after he passed his medical to complete his £15 million transfer to the Premier League side Cardiff City.
Pilot David Ibbotson, 59, who held only a Private Pilot's License (PPL) and was not permitted to carry passengers, was payed to ferry the star to Nantes on January 19.
Nantes soccer team supporters stand by a poster of Argentinian player Emiliano Sala and reading Let's keep hope outside La Beaujoire stadium before the French soccer League One match Nantes against Saint-Etienne, in Nantes, western France, Wednesday, Jan.30, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.11.2021
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The light aircraft disappeared on its return flight. A three-day emergency search-and-rescue effort failed to find survivors, and the wreckage of the plane was discovered on the seabed some two years later on February 3.
Sala's body was inside the plane, but Ibbotson's remains were not found.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is the toxic byproduct of fuel burning with insufficient oxygen to form harmless carbon dioxide (CO2).
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