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Five people are feared dead after a helicopter crashed outside Leicester City's King Power Stadium last night.

The aircraft was carrying the club's billionaire Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, his daughter, two pilots and another person whose identity is yet to be confirmed.

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, was at the stadium to watch his team draw 1-1 with London club West Ham United in the Premier League.

The Thai businessman bought the club in 2010 and it was the money he poured into the club that helped them to win their first ever league title in 2016, despite being 5000-1 outsiders.

According to eye witnesses a police officer was the first to run to the crash site and attempt to pull open a door but was 'forced back by an explosion' while his colleague searched for an extinguisher.

Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel also ran to the scene of the crash in a stadium car park.

Leicester City owner, his daughter, two pilots and another person 'were all on board helicopter' when it crashed and burst into flames outside the team's stadium


Helicopter belonging to Leicester City's owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed outside the stadium

The incident happened just minutes after Leicester City's 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday night

Eyewitnesses recalled seeing the helicopter spluttering shortly after taking off from inside the stadium

Fans were left shell-shocked and some were in tears after the aircraft came down inside the club's car park

Are you in the area or did you witness the incident? Please email charlie.bayliss@mailonline.co.uk

By Charlie Bayliss and Rob Draper and Laurie Whitwell and Zoie O'brien For Mailonline
28 October 2018

The owner of Leicester City was on the helicopter which crashed to the ground and burst into flames moments after taking off from the centre of the pitch on Saturday evening, sources have said.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, his daughter, two pilots and a fifth person were leaving the stadium in the aircraft when it began to spin and crashed in the corner of a car park of the King Power Stadium, Reuters reports.

The condition of those onboard, including Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, who has four children, it not yet known.

A police officer rushed towards the helicopter belonging to the Leicester City owner, witnesses revealed, after it crashed at around 8.45pm. Witnesses have said the 'engine stopped' in the air, before the helicopter plummeted to the ground.

The unnamed officer attempted to pull open the door, to save those inside, before an 'explosion' turned the wreckage into a fireball and forced the Leicestershire officer back.

It is not clear if there are any survivors after the aircraft belonging to billionaire chairman Mr Srivaddhanaprabha.

Witnesses reported seeing the Augusta Westland AW-169 aircraft suffering engine trouble and spinning out of control shortly after it took off from the centre-circle.

The helicopter belonging to Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed outside the King Power Stadium following Leicester's 1-1 draw with West Ham yesterday

Leicester City fans have gathered outside the stadium this morning after the helicopter crash on Saturday evening

Candles, flowers and scarves have been laid out by fans of the football club. West Ham scarves have also been placed outside the stadium, hours after the crash

Fans were seen crying at the stadium in the hours following the crash as they nervously waited for news over the condition of those on the helicopter

Fans were gathered outside the stadium in the aftermath of the tragedy at the King Power Stadium in Leicester

On Sunday morning fans began to arrive outside the stadium to pay tribute to those involved in the crash. Fatalities are yet to be confirmed

Flowers and tributes have been left at the scene of the helicopter crash hours after the devastating scenes at Leicester's stadium

Following the evening kick-off game on Saturday, the helicopter was seen landing on the centre circle of the pitch

Tributes included a Leicester shirt, flowers, candles and a large image of the Hindu god Ganesh which was also propped up in amidst the flowers. outside of the ground, early on Sunday

A Leicester City shirt was left at the scene close to where the helicopter which can carry eight people came crashing down

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha waves to fans after a Premier League clash between Leicester City and Southampton in April 2016. He was at the game but it is unclear whether he was on board the helicopter

The helicopter took off from the centre circle of the pitch with stadium staff and pundits looking on - but moments later it began to spin out of control in the air

Police remain on guard as an investigation takes place into how the helicopter came crashing back down to the ground

Emergency services had battled to extinguish the fire but firefighters and police officers appeared deflated as they left the scene of the tragedy outside Leicester's home ground

Huge plumes of smoke were seen billowing in the air following the crash at around 8.30pm on Saturday

According to eye witnesses a police officer was the first to run to the crash site and attempt to pull open a door but was 'forced back by an explosion' while his colleague searched for an extinguisher.

Local fan Leo Brooker told BBC Radio 5 Live: 'One of them was looking for something. I don't know what he was looking for inside the car something to prevent the fire, I don't know.

'And the other man, the other one, he run straight away to the helicopter and he was trying to break the window of the helicopter with, I don't know what he had in his hand, a big metal or... I couldn't see 'cause it was too dark.

'But one of the policeman was trying to break the window and trying to get in and the other one was inside the car looking for something and then the next minute I see the police officer he had a fire extinguisher trying to prevent the fire and i don't know even I was still scared.

'And then this was all going on five to 10 seconds and then there was an explosion and even the policeman and all the three or four other guys that were trying to help but they just pulled back because the fire was going to hot.'

It is understood emergency services spent twenty minutes attempting to extinguish the flames.

Early on Sunday fans began to arrive to the stadium with flowers, although it is not yet clear who was travelling in the helicopter at the time of the crash.

Initial reports had suggested Claude Puel may have been onboard, however, Gregory Campi, the AS Monaco Team 3 coach told Nice-Matin, this was not correct and the club's manager was safe.

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha made his money in retail in Thailand and his King Power duty-free shops are in every airport in the Asian country.

The sound of the helicopter crash could be heard on a BT Sport post-match broadcast and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is said to have witnessed the crash and broke down in tears.

Police and ambulance services were unable to provide any details as to whether there had been any causalities.

Fans were shell-shocked and some broke down in tears as the helicopter plummeted to the ground near the club's staff car park at around 8.30pm on Saturday, shortly after Leicester's 1-1 draw with West Ham.

The 2million aircraft which has eight seats was spotted hovering over the south east corner of the ground before spluttering and spiraling to ground, near Filbert Way, and bursting into flames.

BT Sports cameras captured the moments leading up to the helicopter preparing for take-off as presenter Jake Humphreys seemed to confirm Mr Srivaddhanaprabha was on board.

Spectators at the game said they witnessed the helicopter spinning out of control and that there was a problem with the tail rotor of the aircraft.

A huge inferno erupted after the helicopter crashed just outside Leicester City's King Power stadium following their 1-1 draw with West Ham United

The helicopter came down near to Leicester City's staff car park at around 8.30pm

One man, who wished not to be named, but has had a season ticket for over 40 years, told Sky News: 'I saw Kasper Schmeichel run out first and then loads of security guards and stewards.

'I was stood outside the ground but it crashed on the other side. I hope everyone is OK.'

Former England legend Peter Shilton and his wife witnessed the carnage unfold.

His partner Stephanie, 50, said: 'We are both in shock on our way home. It happened straight in front of us as we were leaving the ground.

'We don't know what has happened. It's horrendous. We need to know if everyone is OK. That's the biggest thing. We just hope that everyone got out OK.'

A reporter for Sky Sports News said people were 'running for their lives' in the aftermath of the crash.

Rob Dorsett said: 'The car park was certainly it was still populated with people at the time whether that was members of staff leaving the stadium or spectators watching the game. It's so close to the stadium, a couple of hundred metres if that from the stands.

'There has be to concern for people who are walking back to their cars or get buses back to the train station and any impact that would have.

'An eye-witness and his nephew ran for their lives, they were that concerned they were going to be hit by the wreckage of the helicopter. It burst into flames as it hit the ground. There has to be concerns for people in and around the area after the game.

From left to right: Jake Humphreys, Owen Hargreaves, Chris Sutton and John Hartson in the studio at the King Power stadium following the game on Saturday. The helicopter can be seen in the centre circle of the pitch

A helicopter belonging to Leicester City football club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is on fire after it crashed in the King Power Stadium car park in Leicester

The helicopter took off from the King Power stadium but just seconds into its journey, the aircraft began to spin out of control and crashed in car park E

'However, we must stress, the majority of the crowd would have left by that time.'

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha's and his entourage leaving the King Power by helicopter has become a familiar sight as he frequently takes off from the centre circle of Leicester's ground.

It is unclear whether there were any injuries on the ground but Leicester's vice-chairman Aiyawatt 'Top' Srivaddanaprabha and Leicester Director of Football John Rudkin were not on board the helicopter, according to Sky sources.

Photographs near the crash site show at least one vehicle with its windows blown out and its roof burnt.

Fans in the city said Leicester will be 'hit hard' by the crash.

Richard Mobbshas, 67, has been a Leicester fan for 50 years.

He said: 'I got to know him quite well since meeting him four or five years ago. He was a lovely man. I'm in shock. I can't believe what has happened. I just broke down in tears when I heard something had happened.'

Daniel Cooke, 21, added: 'I came to Leicester the year City won the title and remember what a wonderful time it was.

'What has happened tonight is going to hit this city and the club very hard.'

Firefighters have managed to fight their way through the blaze and extinguish the fire. The helicopter came down shortly after Leicester City's 1-1 draw with West Ham

Cars near to the scene of the crash also appear to have been incinerated by the blaze. It is unclear if there were any injuries on the ground

Police officers secure the area outside Leicester City Football Club's King Power Stadium in Leicester, eastern England, on October 27, 2018 after a helicopter crashed in a car park outside the stadium

An ambulance and ambulance car was filmed driving slowly away from the King Power stadium shortly before 10.30pm.

Tim Acott, Leicester season ticket holder of 40 years, said: 'It just came out of the stadium already spinning then down to the ground.

'Just in a spiral. It hit the ground with a big bang then burst into flames. It's over on the other side of the car park, I don't think there were people there. I'm shaking like anything.'

Freelance photographer Ryan Brown, who was covering the game, told BBC Radio 5 Live he saw the helicopter rise out of the stadium before it crashed.

'Literally the engine stopped and I turned around, and it made a bit of a whirring noise. It turned silent, blades started spinning and then there was a big bang,' he said.

He said he saw 'a huge fireball' when he ran to the scene.


















A host of former and current players, as well as West Ham chairman Lady Karren Brady, tweeted in the aftermath of the crash

A Leicester City fan named John, who was at the game today, told Sky Sports News: 'We was in the bar facing the King Power my nephew was in a real state of shock. He said he saw this helicopter out of control then drop within a second and burst into flames.

'He was so upset we're all thinking about the owners here and what they've done for the football club. It's awful, you can't believe it.'

The area around the ground has been closed off, while the stadium was evacuated. West Ham's team bus had already left, though some Leicester players were still inside the stadium.

Leicester City and England defender Harry Maguire tweeted a video of the aftermath of the crash with praying hands emojis. Midfielder James Maddison, Ben Chilwell, Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy also posted the same emojis following the game.

England and Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell tweeted: 'Speechless.'

West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta, who played in the game, tweeted: 'My thoughts and prayers are with all those involved in the helicopter accident at Leicester City.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/ar...r-Stadium.html
Last edited by Blackleaf; 2 weeks ago at 06:01 AM..