November 24, 2020
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Leicester City Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash

Besides the owner, two members of his staff – Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz died in the crash.

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Leicester City Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash
Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five people to die when a helicopter crashed Saturday evening, Oct. 27, 2018 near the King Power Stadium, the club have confirmed in a statement.
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Leicester City Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash
outlookindia.com
2018-10-29T07:12:04+05:30

The worst fears were realised early Monday morning when Leicestershire police confirmed Leicester City FC owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, along with other four people on board, had been killed when his helicopter crashed outside the club’s stadium on Saturday night.

Fondly known as Vichai, the Thai billionaire bought the Midlands club for a reported £39m in 2010, then helped it earn promotion to the top flight league in 2014. Two years later, they scripted one of the biggest underdog stories by lifting the Premier League title after beating odds of 5000-1.

“This is an incredibly tragic incident in which five people are understood have lost their lives. Emergency services were immediately on scene when the crash happened, working to put out the fire and gain access to the helicopter in attempts to reach those inside. Despite those efforts, there were no survivors," said Superintendent Steve Potter.

Later, the Foxes released a statement:

"“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. None of the five people on-board survived.

“The primary thoughts of everyone at the club are with the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the families of all those on-board at this time of unspeakable loss.

“In Khun Vichai, 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. Leicester City was a family under his leadership. 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.

“A book of condolence, which will be shared with the Srivaddhanaprabha family, will be opened at King Power Stadium from 8am on Tuesday 30 October for supporters wishing to pay their respects.

“Supporters unable to visit King Power Stadium that wish to leave a message can do so through an online book of condolence, which will be made available via lcfc.com in due course.

“Both Tuesday’s First Team fixture against Southampton in the EFL Cup and the Development Squad fixture against Feyenoord in the Premier League International Cup have been postponed.

“Everyone at the Club has been truly touched by the remarkable response of the football family, whose thoughtful messages of support and solidarity have been deeply appreciated at this difficult time.”

What happened?

The unfortunate accident happened around an hour after Leicester's 1-1 draw at King Power Stadium with West Ham United in a Premier League game on Saturday. The Thai owner’s helicopter crashed near a car park outside the stadium shortly after taking off from the pitch.

According to reports, a bang was heard shortly after and the helicopter was seen spiralling out of control.

Who were the victims?

Besides the owner, two members of his staff – Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz died in the crash. Suknamai was a former Miss Thailand Universe competitor, while Lechowicz  – also a pilot was originally from Poland. 

Who was Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha?

The 61-year-old was the chairman of duty-free company King Power International Group. He also controlled a part of AirAsia. He was the fourth-richest man in Thailand. He was an ethnic Chinese, with four children. One of his sons, Apichet, is a Leicester vice-chairman.

He was one of the most beloved club owners in England, not only for helping Foxes win the title but also for his wider community service.

The sporting world paid tribute to the departed souls:

A stream of fans in thousands headed toward the stadium, bearing flowers, scarves and club jerseys, and laying their tributes at an impromptu shrine outside the stadium.


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