‘Huge fireball’: EPL club owner’s helicopter crashes

THE helicopter of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has crashed outside the King Power Stadium after the Premier League game against West Ham.

The incident occurred in the club's car park, where police cars and emergency services rushed towards an area where flames were clearly visible before the area was evacuated.

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.

"We are dealing with an incident in the vicinity of the King Power Stadium. Emergency services are aware and dealing," Leicestershire Police tweeted.

Srivaddhanaprabha routinely leaves the stadium in his helicopter, which lands in the centre circle on the pitch, after every Leicester home game.

Reports in the UK suggest City owner Srivaddhanaprabha attended the match with family members.

However his son Aiyawatt was believed to be in Thailand and did not attend yesterday's game.

It is not yet known who was in the helicopter.

"Hearing that the Leicester City owners' helicopter has crashed in the club's car park," broadcaster and former Leicester player Gary Lineker tweeted.





The helicopter routinely lands in the middle of the pitch.
The helicopter routinely lands in the middle of the pitch.

Leicestershire Police confirmed emergency services were dealing with an incident near the King Power Stadium but have not provided any further details.

According the The Sun, Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was among those seen in tears outside the stadium as fire crews doused the flames.

The wife of England and Leicester City legend Peter Shilton was among the eye-witnesses who saw the horror unfold.

Stephanie Shilton, 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."

"I hope they're OK. Doesn't seem like they have had much of a chance. Just burst into flames," one witness told Sky News.

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust tweeted: "We are also in attendance and will update when possible." Srivaddhanaprabha, who owns the King Power company, bought Leicester in 2010 and became chairman the following February.

A Leicester City spokesman said: "We are assisting police and emergency services in dealing with a major incident at King Power Stadium. The Club will issue a more detailed statement once further information ahs been established."

Thai billionaire Srivaddhanaprabha is the founder of King Power Duty Free and is worth around £2bn.

He bought Leicester City in August 2010 and invested millions into the club.

Under the Thai businessman's ownership, Leicester won the Premier League title in 2016.



Eye witness images from Twitter
Eye witness images from Twitter