Sports

Leicester heartbroken at the death of their owner in helicopter crash

Leicester heartbroken at the death of their owner in helicopter crash

A flag showing the Leicester City Football Club's Fox logo with a message of thanks is seen in a growing pile of tributes outside Leicester City Football Club's King Power Stadium in Leicester, eastern England, on October 28, 2018.

The helicopter belonged to chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who bought the club in August 2010 and was named chairman in February 2011 before overseeing Leicester's Premier League triumph in 2016. Leicestershire Police said the others were believed to be Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, who were members of Mr Srivaddhanaprabha's staff, as well as pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

The other victims were the pilot and two of Srivaddhanaprabha's associates.

Pete Ripley, associate director of operations at East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: "We received a call at 8.38pm on 27 October to reports of a helicopter crash in the vehicle park of King Power Stadium in Leicester. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the Club that is now his legacy".

Tuesday's Carabao Cup clash with Southampton and the development squad's fixture against Feyenoord in the Premier League International Cup have been postponed.

It is not clear who was on board the helicopter or what condition those impacted are in.

The aircraft came to rest on its port side in a auto park.

The aircraft's manufacturers said it was the first accident involving one of its Agusta Westland AW169 helicopters. A small candle was placed in front of the flowers as people gathered at the stadium.

One fan left a card of a fox with their flowers, reading: "Thinking of you all".

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Under his ownership, Leicester won the Premier League title in the 2015-16 season. He has been praised for his charity work, donating 2 million pounds ($2.5 million) toward a new local children's hospital.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch says inspectors "will start working on the recorder, which was subject to intense heat as a result of the post-accident fire".

The AAIB confirmed on Sunday morning its investigators had been deployed at the site.

A Leicester spokesman said: "We are assisting Leicestershire Police and the Emergency Services in dealing with a major incident at King Power Stadium".

BT Sport host Jake Humphrey said everyone was evacuated from the stadium in the aftermath of the incident, adding that "huge numbers" of emergency service crews were at the scene.

"We are now working with our colleagues in Leicestershire Police and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service at the scene".

"It is hard to put into words how much you have meant to this football club and to the city of Leicester".

East Midlands Ambulance Service said the alarm was raised at 8.38pm and it sent a doctor, ambulance and team of paramedics alongside a hazardous area response team to the vehicle park outside the stadium.


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