Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Leicester City club owner among 5 people killed in helicopter crash

Leicester City club owner among 5 people killed in helicopter crash

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was in the helicopter when it came down at about 20:30 BST on Saturday, a source close to the family has told the BBC.

One witness said he saw Leicester's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel run out towards the crashed helicopter.

There was no confirmation whether London-based Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who frequently flies to and from Leicester's home games by helicopter, was on board the aircraft which appeared to develop mechanical problems.

Thai businessman Srivaddhanaprabha died along with four others when his helicopter crashed and then exploded outside the club's King Power Stadium on Saturday after a Premier League match against West Ham United.

In a statement, the AAIB says inspectors are expected to remain on the site at Leicester's stadium until the end of the week when the wreckage is expected to be transported to specialist facilities for a detailed examination.

However, in Asia success breeds success and Leicester's Premier League title in 2016 and the connection with Thailand via the team's owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, encouraged many fans to defect, including Malakrong.

"Recently, I was pleased to see from his Facebook posts that he had put down roots and bought a attractive home with Izabela in Camberley". As a mark of respect, their EFL Cup match with Southampton, scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed.

With fans already fearing the worst, a makeshift shrine formed from early Sunday outside the stadium named after Vichai's King Power company.

Among the sea of tributes to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha - the funder behind the club's epic 2016 Premier League victory - was also an image of Ganesh, a Hindu god often seen at Thai Buddhist temples.

England legend Gary Lineker, a former Leicester player and host of the BBC's Match of the Day, tweeted: "That was the most hard @BBCMOTD I've ever hosted". He was so upset - we're all thinking about the owners here and what they've done for the football club.

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The sight of him arriving and leaving from matches in his helicopter from the centre-circle of the pitch was a common sight.

She was a member of the chairman's staff and was active on Instagram, where she posted some photographs with Leicester City players.

The incident is being investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Leicester and England defender Harry Maguire posted on Twitter how Vichai had supported him at club and at worldwide level during the World Cup, describing the Thai billionaire as "A truly great, kind, loving man who will be missed so much by everyone".

Two pilots and a fifth person whose identity was not immediately known, the source said on Sunday.

A billionaire from Thailand, Srivaddhanaprabha took over ownership of the team in 2010 and uses his vast fortune to help the team return to the Premier League in 2014.

It said the 60-year-old, who bought the club for £39 million in 2010 and led it to a first Premier League title in 2015-16 was a "great man".

But not even their most devout fans could have imagined what happened next.

The success also qualified them for the first time for the lucrative Champions League, the pinnacle of European football played by the continent's most successful sides, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Residents remembered a determined and charismatic figure who was the driving force behind a footballing feat when the club rose through the ranks to win the top spot two years ago.

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