A helicopter belonging to Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, a Thai billionaire, crashed near the Premier League football club’s stadium after its match against West Ham on Saturday night.
Eyewitnesses saw the chopper burst into flames as they captured in their mobile phones images from the scene.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch of the Leicestershire Police is conducting an investigation into the incident.
Shortly after it took off following Saturday’s game, the AgustaWestland helicopter crashed into a car park close to the King Power Stadium in Leicestershire, England, around 20:30 BST.
Vichai, who has invested millions into the club, would take off from the pitch in the same helicopter whenever he attended a Leicester home game.
Quoting a source close to the family, BBC reported the billionaire businessman was in the helicopter at the time of the crash on Saturday, though the club did not confirm this.
In a short statement released late Saturday, Leicester City only confirmed that a “major incident” had occurred. “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,” said the statement.
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 Leicestershire Police said they were investigating the incident.
The identities of the pilot and passengers on board are yet to be known. It is also not known if anyone was injured on the ground.
“Emergency services are currently dealing with an incident at the King Power Stadium, in Leicester, after an aircraft came down in a car park behind the ground earlier this evening,” the police said in a statement shortly after the crash.
Emergency services are currently at the King Power Stadium where an aircraft came down in a car park behind the ground. Enquiries to establish the exact circumstances of the collision are ongoing https://t.co/swEdWeByGH
— LeicestershirePolice (@leicspolice) October 27, 2018
It added: “Officers are working alongside the ambulance service, Leicester Fire and Rescue Service, the Air Accident Investigation Branch and Leicester City Football Club to establish the exact circumstances of the collision.”
The police later said the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) would now be leading an investigation into the circumstances of the crash at the King Power Stadium.
“The aircraft came down in a car park near the stadium shortly after 8.30pm yesterday evening (Saturday 27 October) with Leicestershire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service all responding to the incident,” the police said in a second statement issued on Sunday. They added that a cordon was currently in place at the scene to enable the AAIB to examine the area.
“Leicestershire Police will be supporting the AAIB in its investigation, liaising closely with Leicester City Football Club as enquiries continue,” said the statement.
Earlier, several people posted on social media images of the crash.
During times like this it doesn’t matter your club colours or rivalry history. The beautiful game makes us all family.
We cry and we laugh together
— Lyrical Mycheal 🦁 (@LyricalMycheal) October 27, 2018
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha bought the club for $57 million in 2010. In 2014, it was promoted to the Premier League, and in two years’ time, in 2016, the club won the premiership.
The businessman is quite popular among the fans as he can be seen handing out free beer, water and cupcakes in the stands.