The helicopter belonging to Vichai Srivaddhnaprabha, the chairman of Premier League football club Leicester City, crashed at the club’s King Power Stadium on Saturday night, shortly after takeoff from the centre of the ground.
It is unclear that whether Srivaddhnaprabha was on board the helicopter when it crashed but some reports said that the 61-year-old founder chairman of King Power Duty Free was on board when the chopper crashed at the parking lot just outside the stadium.
According to reports, a problem with the aircraft at a height of approximately 200 feet sent it into a tail spin. Photos and videos on social media showed the aircraft engulfed in fire in the parking lot where it crashed.
Leicester City did not confirm whether Srivaddhnaprabha was in the helicopter at the time of the incident, which happened after the club’s match with West Ham United.
The Leicestershire Police said in a statement that emergency services are “dealing with an incident at the King Power Stadium” but did not give any details about the number of passengers or their status.
“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.
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 statement read.
The Police was yet to post any update at the time of writing.
A Leicester City spokesman said that the club is “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 Leicester City.
According to CNN, Srivaddhanaprabha is known to regularly travel to and from the stadium by helicopter.
Citing a source close to the family, the BBC reports that Srivaddhnaprabha was on board the aircraft. According to the report, flowers have been laid at the site of the accident overnight but no official confirmation connected to the fate of Srivaddhanaprabha has emerged so far.
Sky News reported that the owner’s daughter, two pilots and an unidentified fifth person were also on board at the time of the crash.
Vichai Srivaddhnaprabha’s son Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, who is vice chairman of King Power, was not at the game on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Leicester City women’s team postponed a scheduled FA Women’s Championship match with the women’s team of Manchester United in the light of the events.
In a tweet, Leicester City said that a new date for the fixture will be communicated once confirmed.
Even though there was no official confirmation on Srivaddhanaprabha’s fate, the club’s fans posted tributes for the club boss.
Born in Bangkok on 4 April 1958, Srivaddhanaprabha bought the club for $57 million in 2010 and it was promoted to the Premier League in 2014. In 2016, the club achieved the once-unthinkable feat of winning the premiership.
The club’s extraordinary run of success has played out under Srivaddhanaprabha’s ownership. The businessman has won over fans by handing out free beer, water and cupcakes in the stands.