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29th Oct 2018

Police confirm five dead following Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter crash

James Dawson

All five victims have now been confirmed by Leicester Police

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his staff, the pilot and a passenger have been confirmed as the five people killed when Leicester City’s owner’s helicopter span out of control and crashed outside the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Police said the five people aboard the aircraft were Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpar and pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

Swaffer was described as a pilot with 20 years of flying experience and a “veteran in the field”, according to the BBC.

The crash occurred as 60-year-old businessman Srivaddhanaprabha was leaving the King Power Stadium after Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham via his personal helicopter. Shortly after taking to the air the helicopter began spinning, before falling to the ground and crashing in the carpark.

In a statement on Twitter Sunday night, Leicester City said: “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 the 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.”

Outside of the club’s stadium on Sunday, fans told JOE just how much Srivaddhanaprabha meant to the supporters, the club and the city itself.