Leicester confirm tragic death of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha


A person with knowledge of the situation says the Thai owner of English Premier League club Leicester was on a helicopter that crashed and burst into flames shortly after taking off from the soccer field at the team's King Power stadium in central England.

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.

Ever the showman, Mr Vichai's announcement of his intention to become a major player in racing was made at the auction in Kensington Gardens on the eve of perhaps the most famous racing festival in the world, Royal Ascot.

Srivaddhanaprabha, who is worth an estimated $3.8 billion through his duty-free retail empire, bought Leicester in 2010 for a reported £39 million.

"It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy".

The local ambulance service said it received reports of a helicopter crash at 8:38 p.m. local time and sent a doctor, two paramedics in ambulance cars, a crewed ambulance and its Hazardous Area Response Team.

It was from there he was believed to have boarded and taken off after Saturday's 1-1 draw with West Ham before the helicopter crashed in the auto park directly outside the stadium.

Witnesses said the helicopter seemed to spiral out of control moments after it set off from Leicester's King Power Stadium at about 8.30pm on Saturday and plummeted into the auto park.

Leicester had drawn 1-1 against West Ham United at the King Power Stadium.

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As the wait for further news about the crash continued on Sunday, dozens of fans gathered at the King Power Stadium to lay floral tributes.

According to a statement by Leicester police, emergency services flocked to the site of the crash to "establish the exact circumstances of the collision", while the Premier League, as well as clubs and players from around England, expressed their concern after hearing news of the crash.

However, with a team of cast-offs from larger clubs and unheralded journeymen, Leicester held off the might of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea to win the title by 10 points.

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin said the owners were popular with Leicester's supporters.

"All of my thoughts are with the victims and their families and I want reassure all the people who are concerned about me".

The Air Accident Investigation Branch has started its investigation and is at the scene of the crash.

"The helicopter just went silent, I turned round and it was just spinning, out of control".

Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker and BT Sport host Jake Humphrey expressed their shock and devastation, as they were forced to announce the incident on their talk shows just minutes after it happened.