London Argentine footballer Emiliano Hall and his pilot, who died in January in his plane crash, were likely exposed to "life-threatening" carbon monoxide levels, British researchers said Wednesday.
"Toxicological analyzes have found that the passenger had a high level of saturation in COHb (a product that combines carbon monoxide and hemoglobin)," the British Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) said in a special report.
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According to tests, living room had a carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) saturation rate of 58%. "A COHb level of 50% or more in a person in good health is generally considered potentially fatal," the AAIB said.
"It is considered likely that the pilot was exposed to carbon monoxide", add the statement.
The Argentine and his pilot, David Hobson, crashed on Jan. 21 when the Nantes striker flew to join Cardiff, who has just signed.
The 28-year-old's body was found in the remains of the device, more than two weeks after the crash, at a depth of 67 meters. The pilot's body was not found.
According to the AAIB, carbon monoxide poisoning is a particular risk because of the type of aircraft they traveled.
"Piston jets produce strong concentrations of carbon monoxide that are sent off the device through the exhaust system," the researchers said.
"Poor cab leakage or leakage in exhaust gas heating and ventilation systems may allow carbon monoxide to enter the cab," the report added.
Exposure to gas can endanger the brain and nervous system. Also unconscious and heart attacks with COHb rates above 50% are possible.
"It is clear from the symptoms that CO exposure can reduce or inhibit the pilot's ability to operate an aircraft based on exposure level," the AAIB explained.