Emiliano Sala suffered from ‘severe carbon monoxide poisoning’ prior to his death in a plane crash, an inquest heard.
At Dorset Coroner’s Court, it was heard how in 2019, the Argentina-born striker died in a private jet when it crashed north of Guernsey in the English Channel.
Reportedly, blood tests from the 28-year-old’s body – which is believed to have been found three weeks after the tragedy – determined that the footballer was overcome by toxic levels of gas, which may have come from a crack in the jet’s exhaust pipes.
Dr Basil Purdue, who is a pathologist for the Home Office, has claimed that Sala would have been ‘deeply unconscious’ when the jet made an impact with the sea.
It’s believed that due to the decomposition of the footballer’s body, only two blood samples could be taken. Apparently, the first one was sent away for carbon monoxide poisoning, while the second was used to confirm Sala’s identity.
Dr Purdue reportedly went on to say that the star died from both severe head and chest injuries, which would be consistent with a plane crash.
In the tragedy, pilot David Ibbotson also died. However, the 59-year-old’s body has never been found.
At some point in the hearing, it’s believed that Dr Purdue explained how intoxication from the carbon monoxide would have affected their ‘coordination’ on the flight.
He explained: “Intoxication does affect coordination among other factors. Flying a plane requires a high degree of coordination.
“There would be a good chance of impairment to coordination and ability to fly the plane.
“The presence of Mr Sala makes him the canary in the mine. He is the person whose body detects the presence of this gas.”
The inquest is set to continue on Wednesday, February 23, and reportedly, the aircraft’s owner, Fay Keely, will be giving evidence via video link.
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