Emiliano Sala: the Argentine footballer died of trauma in a plane crash

Emiliano Sala died of severe head and chest injuries when the plane he was traveling on crashed, a jury concluded.

The Argentine footballer was “deeply unconscious” after being poisoned by exhaust gases before dying, the court heard on Thursday.

Sala was killed when a single-engine Piper Malibu plane crashed in the English Channel off the coast of Guernsey in January 2019.

He was traveling from Nantes to join his new team, Cardiff City, Wales.

In an investigation at Bournemouth Town Hall, the jury found that Sala was a passenger on a private plane piloted by pilot David Ibbotson who did not have the proper authority to fly at night.

The plane broke down when it crashed into the sea in difficult weather conditions. Ibbotson’s body was never found.

According to pathologist Dr Basil Purdue, Sala had been overwhelmed by “severe poisoning” due to a buildup of carbon monoxide inside the cabin due to the aircraft’s faulty exhaust system.

The 28-year-old footballer would have been “deeply unconscious” but was still alive at the point of impact, Purdue said.

The flight was handled by pilot and businessman David Henderson, who organized flights, pilots and maintenance, despite not being the registered legal operator.

In November it was Henderson sentenced to 18 months in prison for enduring the safety of a plane.

He had previously admitted a separate offense of attempting to unload a passenger without valid clearance or clearance.