In Brief

Footballer Sala was exposed to carbon monoxide

Accident report suggests that pilot could also have been affected by gas

A report into the light aircraft crash that killed Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala has revealed that he was exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide before his death.

The findings, but the Air Accident Investigation Branch, raise the possibility that the pilot David Ibbotson may also have been exposed to the gas before the plane went down in the English channel in January.

It has led to calls from Sala’s family for the wreckage of the Piper Malibu aircraft to be salvaged, but the AAIB has said that is not feasible and would not aid the investigation.

“Toxicology tests on Sala's body showed CO levels in his blood were so great it could have caused a seizure, unconsciousness or a heart attack,” reports the BBC.

“Piston engine aircraft such as the Piper Malibu involved in the crash produce high levels of carbon monoxide.

“The gas is normally conveyed away from the aircraft through the exhaust system, but poor sealing or leaks into the heating and ventilation system can enable it to enter the cabin.”

Meanwhile an engineer has claimed that the plane was “not fit to be flown”.

Airfield owner Humphrey Penney told MailOnline he looked over the plane last year. “What happened it all so sad and tragic. We had deep concerns about the plane when we looked it at a year ago,” he said.

“The hydraulic motor was a shambles and the flaps, autopilot and de-icing system weren't working and there were several other problems.

“There was a long list of things things that needed doing and it was going to cost an awful lot of money to put it right, in the region of £14,000 to £20,000. It was not in a fit state to be flown for a passenger but only in an emergency a short distance for maintenance and to get it fixed.”

The body of the 28-year-old Argentinian was recovered in February but that of Ibbotson, 59, has not been found. The wreckage of the plane was found on the seabed off Guernsey in the Channel Islands but the aircraft remains underwater.

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