Leicester City owner among five helicopter crash victims

Leicester City owner among five helicopter crash victims
Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Claire HeffronAlice Cuddy with Reuters
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Police have named the four people believed to have been killed alongside Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha when the Leicester owner's helicopter crashed outside of the King Power Stadium on Saturday night.


The owner of Leicester City FC died when his helicopter crashed outside the stadium, the club has confirmed.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people died when the aircraft crashed on Saturday evening.

Leicestershire Police said it believed the dead to be:

  • Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

  • Two members of his staff Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare

  • Pilot Eric Swaffer

  • Passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz

In a statement, Leicester City FC said the club's thoughts were with "the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the families of all those on-board at this time of unspeakable loss".

The club described Mr Srivaddhanaprabha as "a man of kindness, of generosity and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully led".

"Leicester City was a family under his leadership. 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," it added.

The club added that it had been "truly touched" by the response of the football community, which included the arch above Wembley Stadium being lit in blue and white.

Tributes have been paid across the football community and thousands of bouquets and scarves have already been left outside the football ground.


What happened?

At around 8.30 pm local time on Saturday, about an hour after Leicester City’s Premier League match against West Ham in which the teams drew 1-1, the helicopter took off from the King Power Stadium and then plunged down.

Eyewitnesses said the helicopter just cleared the top of the stadium before it started to spin. It then plummeted to the ground and burst into flames.

Police cars and emergency services rushed towards an area where flames were clearly visible before the area was evacuated.

The helicopter shortly before it took off on Saturday eveningReuters
Flowers, football shirts and tributes have been left outside the groundReuters
REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
A Leicester City football fan places flowers outside the football stadium after the helicopter of the club owner Thai businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed when leaving the ground on Saturday evening after the match, in Leicester.REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Who is Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha?

Thai billionaire Srivaddhanaprabha bought the east Midlands club in 2010.

According to Forbes magazine, he is the fifth richest person in Thailand with an estimated net worth of €4.3 billion.

Under his ownership, the club won the 2016 Premier League, having begun the season as 5,000/1 outsiders.

Reuters/Darren Staples/File Photo

Euronews will continue to update this developing story.

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