After having signed for Cardiff City from Nantes, Emiliano Sala was on his way to Wales when his aircraft suddenly went missing on the radar. His body was recovered after a long search and rescue mission, but the tragedy continues to throw up more questions than answers.
BBC are now among the sources reporting that the real cause of Sala and pilot David Ibbotson’s death wasn’t by drowning, as was expected, but actually by the presence of carbon monoxide in the cabin of the aircraft.
Toxicology tests performed on Sala’s body show that the levels of carbon monoxide in his body were so great that he could have easily died because of a seizure or a heart attack.
The report says that a 58% level of carbon monoxide was seen in his body, which is generally enough to prove fatal.
“A COHb level of more than 50% in an otherwise healthy person is generally considered to be potentially fatal,” an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said.
The Piper Malibu, which is the aircraft that Sala was flying in on that fateful day, is known to produce high levels of carbon monoxide.
This generally is released outside through the exhaust system, but poor sealing or leaks inside the aircraft could result in it entering the cabin without notice.
As things stand, more tests are being conducted.