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Leicester City owner, four others were on crashed helicopter – report

  • 28 Oct 2018

The helicopter belonging to Leicester City's owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed in the club's car park following Saturday's Premier League game against West Ham. Srivaddhanaprabha's condition is unknown.

A Leicester City football fan places a scarf outside the football stadium, after the helicopter of the club owner Thai businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed when leaving the ground on Saturday evening. ( Reuters )

Leicester City soccer club chairman and owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was among five people who were on board a helicopter which crashed next to the club's stadium on Saturday, a source close to the club told Reuters news agency.

Also on board the helicopter were a daughter of Vichai, two pilots and a fifth person whose identity was not immediately known, the source said on Sunday.

There were no confirmed details on whether anyone on board the helicopter survived, the source said.

The helicopter crashed in flames in a carpark next to the soccer club's stadium shortly after it took off from the field following a Premier League game on Saturday night.

The central England team said it was assisting authorities with "a major incident" at the stadium, after eyewitnesses reported seeing the helicopter plummet to the ground soon after takeoff, about an hour after Leicester's match against West Ham.

While there was no official statement immediately forthcoming about who was on board, or their condition, the BBC reported a source close to the Srivaddhanaprabha family as saying the club's 60-year-old chairman was on the helicopter.

TRT World spoke with sports journalist Andy May in Leicester, UK, for more details.

Several hours after the crash, police had still made no public statements about casualties.

However, in the early hours of Sunday, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service's Assistant Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie tweeted that the accident was "clearly serious and tragic", adding "please don't speculate on cause or who may be involved. Think of families, friends, responders, and (Leicester City) and their fans."

The local ambulance service said in a statement: "We received a call at 8:38 pm this evening to reports of a helicopter crash near King Power Stadium. We sent a doctor, two paramedics in ambulance cars, a crewed ambulance and our Hazardous Area Response Team, with the first resource arriving within two minutes of the call."

Leicester was bought in 2010 by billionaire Srivaddhanaprabha, who also owns Thai duty-free retail giant King Power. 

The team won the English Premier League at odds of 5,000-1 in 2016.

Leicester players Harry Maguire and Wilfred Ndidi tweeted the emoji of praying hands.

Officials at Thailand's King Power said on Sunday they could make no comment on the fate of Srivaddhanaprabha.

Two King Power officials contacted by Reuters said they could neither confirm nor deny whether he was on board the helicopter.

"We cannot say anything and no statement can be given yet," one of the King Power officials said. 

Nonetheless, Leicester City supporters say they fear the worst.

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