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Emiliano Sala: Cardiff City footballer died of 'head and chest injuries’ in plane crash, inquest told

The Independent logo The Independent 12/2/2019 Samuel Lovett
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A post-mortem has found that Emiliano Sala died from injuries to his head and torso when his plane crashed in the English Channel.

The evidence was heard at a coroner's hearing three weeks to the day since the crash.

The single-engine aircraft was flying from Nantes to Cardiff where Sala was due to start a new career playing for the Welsh capital's Premier League side.

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Home Office pathologist Dr Basil Purdue carried out the post-mortem examination, giving Sala's cause of death as "1a) head and trunk injuries".

The hearing, which lasted five minutes and took place at Bournemouth Town Hall in the absence of members of Sala's family, was adjourned until November.

Senior coroner's officer Ian Parry confirmed Sala was pronounced dead at Portland port on 7 February and was formally identified by fingerprints.

His full name was given as Emiliano Raul Sala, who was born in October 1990 at Esperanza, Santa Fe, Argentina.

"On Monday January 21 a Malibu aircraft left Nantes airport for Cardiff," Mr Parry said.

"The aircraft was carrying two persons, the pilot David Ibbotson and passenger Emiliano Raul Sala.

"Air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft during the flight and an extensive search commenced off waters at Guernsey.

"Subsequently the plane was located on the sea bed in international waters.

"Following a closer examination of the site a body, later identified as Mr Sala, was found and recovered.

"To date the pilot, Mr Ibbotson, has not been found.

"Police, Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the Civil Aviation Authority are continuing with their inquiries."

Acting senior Dorset coroner Brendan Allen said the AAIB investigation could take up to 12 months.

Additional reporting by agencies

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