Football player Emiliano Sala and his pilot David Ibbotson were exposed to life-threatening levels of carbon monoxide before their plane crashed, the Air Accident Investigation Bureau revealed on Wednesday.
The toxicology tests performed on Sala's body revealed a 58 per cent carboxyhaemoglobin saturation level. The Bureau said that the levels exceeding 50% are considered 'potentially lethal'.
The investigators are cooperating with the plane manufacturers to establish the cause of high levels of carbon monoxide in the cockpit.
Sky News quoted the lawyer for Sala's family as saying that the high levels of carbon monoxide raise a lot of questions.
"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", the lawyer said.
The 28-year-old Argentinian striker perished tragically in January after the small private plane taking the footballer from Paris to Wales crashed while crossing the English Channel. The body of the footballer was recovered two weeks later, while the remains of the pilot, David Ibbotson, have never been found.
Pictures of Emiliano Sala's post-mortem examination emerged on Twitter two weeks after the crash, prompting the police to launch an investigation into the matter. The police subsequently arrested a 48-year-old woman and 62-year-old man from Wiltshire on suspicion of unauthorised access to computer materials.