Emiliano Sala: Family calls for plane to be salvaged after high levels of carbon monoxide found in footballer’s body

Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) revealed on Wednesday that 'dangerously high' levels of carbon monoxide had been detected in Sala’s body following a toxicology test

Samuel Lovett
Wednesday 14 August 2019 14:41
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Emiliano Sala had carbon monoxide in blood before plane crash, investigators say

The family of Emiliano Sala has called for the wreckage of the plane that crashed into the English Channel while carrying the footballer to be salvaged.

This comes as the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) revealed that “dangerously high” levels of carbon monoxide had been detected in Sala’s body following a toxicology test.

Sala, 28, died when the private aircraft carrying him from Nantes to Cardiff crashed into the sea north of Guernsey on 21 January.

His body was later recovered and brought to Portland Port in Dorset but 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson, who was flying the Piper Malibu aeroplane, remains missing.

In light of the AAIB’s announcement, the Sala family has called for the plane to be salvaged and subject to a “detailed technical examination”.

“That dangerously high levels of Carbon monoxide have been found in Emiliano’s body raises many questions for the family. How he died will be determined at the inquest in due course,” Daniel Machover, lawyer for the Sala family, said.

“The family believe that a detailed technical examination of the plane is necessary.

“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.

“Emiliano’s family call on the AAIB to salvage the wreckage of the plane without further delay.”

Earlier this month two people were warned they face jail after admitting accessing CCTV footage of Sala’s postmortem examination.

An inquiry found that Sherry Bray, 49, and Christopher Ashford, 62, had illegally accessed the CCTV of the postmortem, and that Bray had taken photographs of the footage on her mobile phone and sent a picture to another person using Facebook Messenger.

Judge Peter Crabtree of Swindon Crown Court said: “The starting point is custody undoubtedly in this case, it’s extremely serious.”

Cardiff City remain locked in a battle with Sala’s former club Nantes over the player’s transfer fee.

They have refused to pay the £15m, telling Fifa the player was not yet eligible to play in the Premier League at the time of his death and was free to join another club if he wished.

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