Leicester City have confirmed that its owner is one of the five people that lost their lives in a helicopter crash near the stadium. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was in the helicopter with four other people, including two members of his staff.
The accident happened when the helicopter spiraled out of control and crashed near the stadium. Reports say it had cleared King Power Stadium when it crashed at 20:30 BST. Leicestershire Police believe two of the people that lost their lives in the accident were members of the owner’s staff. The other two are believed to be the pilot and his partner.
Pilot Eric Swaffer had flown helicopters and private jets for more than 20 years. Reports say he was known in the live media broadcasting industry because he flew helicopters for some channels and radio.
The helicopter crashed on Saturday but there were little details on the accident and the passengers. One of the passengers was believed to be the owner and Leicester City fans quickly visited the stadium to leave flowers and speak to the media about the things he had done for the club and the city.
Mr. Vichai bought Leicester City for £39 million ($50 million) back in 2010. The club would later put up impressive results and stun the EPL just a few years after the acquisition. In the 2015-16 season, Leicester City shocked the world when it defeated some of the favorites in the league. The club won the Premier League that season and qualified for the Champions League, where they also had a solid run.
Its Premier League win is one of the most impressive since they began the campaign as 5000 – 1 outsiders. The club’s success was short but fans have not forgotten about the great campaign. Leicester City remains in the Premier League, where they are currently in 12th place.
The club has released a statement saying that their thoughts are with his family and the families of those who were on-board. Leicester City Ambassador Alan Birchenall said the club owed everything to Mr. Vichai. He said that they would not have won the EPL without him.
Yesterday, thousands of supporters visited the stadium and left tributes. Many of them spoke about what Mr. Vichai had done for the club and the great season they had just a few years ago. Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy posted a tweet saying that he is a legend and an incredible man who had the biggest heart. Club captain Wes Morgan posted a tweet in which he says he is absolutely heartbroken and devastated by the news.
The helicopter crashed near the stadium just an hour after the game between Leicester City and West Ham. Authorities have confirmed that no one else was injured in the accident. One official said that emergency services were immediately on the scene but that despite the efforts, there were no survivors.
Freelance photographer Ryan Brown, who was there for the game, spoke to BBC Radio Leicester and said that the helicopter just went silent and that it was spinning out of control.
The team’s next game against Southampton has been postponed. Its next Premier League game will be against Cardiff City. Mr. Vichai’s two horses, who were scheduled to run at Leicester Racecourse today, have been withdrawn from the competition. Officials have said that it will likely take several days to complete the investigation.