Leicester City helicopter crash: Tributes laid as fans gather at stadium
Tributes are being laid at Leicester City’s King Power stadium after a helicopter belonging to the club’s Thai owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, crashed in a car park shortly after taking off from the stadium on Saturday night.
There are reports that Srivaddhanaprabha was among five people killed in the crash, although neither the club nor police have released an official statement on any casualties.
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.”— Leicester City (@LCFC) October 27, 2018
The Thai businessman ’s helicopter was seen taking off from the pitch shortly after Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham in the Premier League. Eyewitnesses describe it spiraling out of control, and footage of the crash site showed a huge inferno.
Football fans have gathered at the home of the Foxes to pay tribute in the wake of the crash, with pictures and footage from BBC Leicester showing flowers, scarves and other memorials not far from the accident site.
Flowers and scarves continue to gather at King Power Stadium. pic.twitter.com/a7Wl7tYKaY— BBC Leicester Sport (@BBCRLSport) October 28, 2018
People are pretty silent here at King Power Stadium but consoling each other. pic.twitter.com/Q62cvtE248— BBC Leicester Sport (@BBCRLSport) October 28, 2018
Religious symbols, flowers and football shirts at crash sceneTributes left at the scene of the Leicester City helicopter crash include flowers, football shirts and religious symbols. pic.twitter.com/o0H17Iu28W— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) October 28, 2018
And the field of flowers at Leicester City. Around the corner from here, police and investigators come and go. pic.twitter.com/WC54BeoQBG— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) October 28, 2018
Many from the world of football expressed their shock at the incident, including former Leicester City player Gary Lineker.
That was the most difficult @BBCMOTD I’ve ever hosted. Thoughts are with everyone at Leicester City. A terrible tragedy. Heartbreaking.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 27, 2018
Fellow TV presenter Jake Humphrey, who was reporting live from the stadium when the incident happened, also described his horror, while West Ham, Leicester's opponents on Saturday, offered their support.
In 21 years, delivering this news live, with little information was the single hardest moment. You can see the shock.The BT Sport team remained professional, yet all our thoughts were, and remain with, everyone at @LCFC a genuinely special family club xxhttps://t.co/oOCWKmcQVo— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) October 28, 2018
The thoughts of all at West Ham United are with everybody at Leicester City at this time.— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) October 27, 2018
Srivaddhanaprabha, 61, is worth an estimated $3.8 billion through his duty-free retail empire, and bought Leicester in 2010 for a reported £39 million.
His investment helped the club return to England’s top-flight, before the Foxes defied 5,000-1 odds to secure a stunning Premier League title in the 2015-16, widely seen as one of the greatest underdog stories in sporting history.
Srivaddhanaprabha endeared himself to the club’s players, staff and fans through his humility, generosity and personal touch in the club’s affairs.
He is a regular visitor at matches, and is often seen leaving in his helicopter from the pitch to return to his London home.
Many players and staff were left in tears on hearing the news of the crash on Saturday night.
🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼— Jamie Vardy (@vardy7) October 27, 2018
🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) October 27, 2018
Speechless..😞😞🙏🏼🙏🏼— Ben Chilwell (@BenChilwell) October 27, 2018