Emiliano Sala and pilot likely exposed to carbon monoxide before fatal crash3Photo© sports.ndtv.com

Emiliano Sala and pilot likely exposed to carbon monoxide before fatal crash

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Footballer Emiliano Sala and the pilot flying his plane when it crashed were likely exposed to "potentially fatal" levels of carbon monoxide, investigators announced on 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.

The Argentinian was flying to Wales from France to join Premier League club Cardiff when his plane came down in the English Channel on January 21 during a night-time flight.