Kasper Schmeichel leads tributes to Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

29 October, 2018, 16:44 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Flames Were Visible Outside Of The King Power Stadium

The Leicester City owner's helicopter has crashed in a vehicle park outside the club's ground as it left the stadium following a Premier League match.

The BBC's Southeast Asia correspondent tweeted that a "source close to the family" had confirmed he was on board, but there was no word from Leicester City or from Thai officials of King Power, Vichai's duty-free shopping empire.

An AFP photographer saw smoke coming from the wreckage at Leicester City Football Club's King Power Stadium.

Tragically, the helicopter crashed, killing Srivaddhanaprabha and the four others aboard the helicopter.

As Thailand woke on Monday morning to the confirmation that Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the reclusive but beloved billionaire owner of King Power retail and Leicester City football club, had been among the five who died in the helicopter crash outside the stadium, the tributes began pouring in.

The Leicester City owner's helicopter has crashed in a vehicle park outside the club's ground shortly after taking off following a match.

"The aircraft came down in a vehicle park near the stadium shortly after 8.30pm with Leicestershire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service all responding to the incident".

Srivaddhanaprabha, who bought Leicester City in 2010, is hugely popular at the club having funded the Foxes through their fairy tale Premier League success in 2015-16, when they were 5,000-1 to win the title at the start of the season.

"Everyone at #MUFC is deeply saddened to learn that the Leicester City chairman and four fellow passengers have lost their lives following last night's tragic incident", the 20-time English champions said via Twitter.

A book of condolence will be opened at the stadium from Tuesday and the team postponed its fixture against Southampton.

"Literally the engine stopped and I turned around, and it made a bit of a whirring noise".

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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.

Former Leicester City and England striker Gary Lineker signed off on Match of the Day by saying it had been a "dreadful day". "A bad tragedy. Heartbreaking".

Goalkeeper Kasper Schemeichel, one of the stars of Leicester's remarkable Premier League title triumph in 2016, led the tributes from the team's players.

A marquee was built for the monks at the ground ahead of Leicester's return to the Premier League in 2014, and they also joined players for prayers at the club's training ground.

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

"The AAIB is now leading an investigation to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the crash and investigators will remain at the scene to complete their initial enquiries".

"I was really upset, I can't get to sleep over it", Mr Kanti Patel, a Leicester City fan, told AFP as emergency workers pored over the crash site."It means a lot to me, he did a lot for the club".

Corporate guest, Shane Carmichael, 32, said, "It's a sight that will live with me for the rest of my days".

More than 1,000 staff, fans at a corporate level and media were still inside the stadium when the tragedy happened.

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.

Leicester were promoted to the top flight by winning the Championship in the 2013/14 season and just two years later shocked the world by winning the Premier League.

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