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Emiliano Sala was overcome by fumes before fatal plane crash

It has been over three years since Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala died tragically in a plane crash. On Thursday the findings of an inquest were released.

Emiliano Sala was overcome by fumes before fatal plane crash
LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

Emiliano Sala is likely to have been "deeply unconscious" after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning before the plane he was in crashed into the English Channel in January 2019.

A jury returned its verdict on Thursday following an inquest, more than three years on from the incident in which Sala and pilot David Ibbotson lost their lives. The duo were travelling on an unlicensed flight from France to Wales as Sala was due to complete a £15million move from Nantes to Cardiff City.

Faulty exhaust likely to have caused crash

It was determined that the aircraft broke up in mid-air, with its two passengers likely to have been overcome by fumes from a faulty exhaust. Sala is said to have died from head and chest injuries sustained in the crash. Mr Ibbotson's body has never been found.

David Henderson, the organiser of the flight, was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment in November last year.

Daniel Machover of Hickman & Rose solicitors, said: "Emiliano's family would like to thank the coroner and the jury for their hard work on this case. They welcome the detailed investigation and the jury’s diligent questioning and are grateful for the opportunity for members of the family to attend the hearing remotely from Argentina. This inquest has exposed the complex facts leading to Emiliano's untimely death. It has shone a bright light on many of the missed opportunities in the worlds of football and aviation to prevent his tragic death. The family particularly note the jury's findings that it is likely that both the pilot and Emiliano suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and that Emiliano was deeply unconscious at the time of the accident, and that the poisoning was caused by a failure in the aircraft exhaust system. The family also welcome the coroner’s decision to communicate to the relevant authorities her concerns about the safety issues arising from this inquest in order to prevent similar future deaths. No family should have to go through grief from a similar avoidable accident."