Leicester City FC owner feared dead in helicopter crash

LONDON – Leicester City Football Club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is believed to have been among at least five people on board the Agusta Westland AW169 helicopter that crashed outside the King Power Stadium.

Srivaddhanaprabha, two unnamed pilots, and another two unidentified persons were all in the helicopter when it suffered a malfunction and crashed on land owned by the club, landing near car park E, which is used by Leicester’s staff. It is unclear whether it landed on any objects or if any bystanders were injured.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) are leading the investigation into the incident, deploying staff to the site.

Leicestershire police are “working with a number of other agencies to get an update out to the public and press”.

A Leicester City spokesman said: “We are assisting Leicestershire Police and the emergency services in dealing with a major incident at King Power Stadium. The Club will issue a more detailed statement once further information has been established.”

Hundreds of supporters – from various teams – have arrived at the stadium to lay bouquets of flowers, shirts and scarves.

Srivaddhanaprabha pumped tens of millions of pounds into the club and was credited for driving the club to its premiership in 2016. He had bought the club six years earlier when it was struggling in the second tier Championship and through judicious management and introducing a family-like culture he consolidated Leicester City into the top division. Last year he bought the Belgium football club OH Leuven and wanted to do the same.

A devout Buddhist, Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha was closely tied to the Kingdom’s royal family and his surname, meaning “light of progressive glory”, was bestowed by Thailand’s late king Bhumibol Adulyadej. He had earned his billions from expanding a craft shop in Bangkok into a duty free empire.

A match between Leicester City Women and Manchester United Women that was set to take place on Sunday has been postponed.

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