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Leicester City confirm owner died in helicopter crash

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28th October, 2018
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Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five people to die when a helicopter crashed near the King Power Stadium, the club have confirmed.

Premier League club Leicester City have confirmed Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was among five people who died when a helicopter crashed next to the stadium.

The 60-year-old retail entrepreneur’s helicopter crashed in a club car park shortly after taking off from Leicester’s King Power Stadium and burst into flames.

“It is with the deepest regret and a collective broken heart that we confirm our chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among those to have tragically lost their lives on Saturday evening when a helicopter carrying him and four other people crashed outside King Power Stadium,” a club statement said.

“The world has lost a great man. A man of kindness, of generosity and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully led.”

Leicestershire Police have released the names of the other four people who they believe died in the helicopter crash – Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

The police force says formal identification has not yet taken place and that no one else was understood to have been injured, with the Air Accident Investigation Branch launching an investigation into the circumstances of the crash.

Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester for Stg39 million ($A70.5 million) in 2010 when it was in the second-tier Championship and bankrolled the revival that peaked with the 5,000-1 outsiders improbably wining the Premier League in 2016.

Having accomplished one of the greatest underdog stories in the history of sports, the central England team is now valued by Forbes at Stg371 million ($A671 million).

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Wes Morgan was the captain of the Premier League winning side and posted on social media: “Absolutely heartbroken and devastated regarding the news of our chairman. A man that was loved and adored by everyone here at LCFC and someone who I personally had the utmost respect for.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the families of the other victims of this tragedy.”

Flowers and wreaths have been laid outside the stadium with small bouquets left by members of the public. A small candle was placed in front of the flowers as people gathered at the stadium.