Emilano Sala exposed to harmful carbon monoxide in plane crash
Late Argentine footballer and his pilot were exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide before their small plane crashed in the English Channel, killing them both, British accident investigators said Wednesday.
Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot were exposed to dangerous "potentially fatal" levels of carbon monoxide before their small plane crashed in the English Channel, killing them both, British accident investigators said Wednesday.
"Toxicology tests found that the passenger had a high saturation level of COHb (the combination product of carbon monoxide and haemoglobin)," Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said in a special bulletin.
"It is considered likely that the pilot would also have been exposed to carbon monoxide," it added.
A single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson crashed in the Channel on January 21.
It said the level was 58 percent, above the 50 percent "generally considered to be potentially fatal" in a healthy individual. Carbon monoxide above that level can cause seizures, loss of consciousness and heart attacks, investigators said in an interim report.
The report did not say what role, if any, carbon monoxide exposure played in the crash. However, they said it was likely the pilot would have been affected "to some extent."
"In this type of aircraft, the cockpit is not separated from the cabin and it is considered likely that the pilot would also have been affected to some extent by exposure" to carbon monoxide, the investigators said.