Leicester Metropolis proprietor amongst 5 useless in helicopter crash


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Media caption“He made us champions, so he is a champion” – Leicester followers pay tribute to the membership’s proprietor

The proprietor of Leicester Metropolis FC died when his helicopter crashed exterior the stadium, the membership has confirmed.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his workers, the pilot and a passenger had been killed when the plane spiralled uncontrolled and crashed in a fireball on Saturday.

It had simply cleared the King Energy Stadium when it got here down at about 20:30 BST.

1000’s of bouquets and scarves have been left exterior the bottom.

Leicestershire Police mentioned it believed the useless to be:

  • Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
  • Two members of his workers, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare
  • Pilot Eric Swaffer and his companion Izabela Roza Lechowicz

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Getty Pictures/Fb/Instagram

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Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (prime left), Izabela Roza Lechowicz (prime proper), Kaveporn Punpare (backside left), Nursara Suknamai (center) and Eric Swaffer (backside proper) had been killed within the crash

Mr Swaffer had over 20 years’ flying expertise as a personal jet and helicopter pilot.

His profession included flying helicopters for reside media broadcasting together with Channel 4’s The Huge Breakfast and the Virgin Radio site visitors helicopter.

Mr Swaffer’s good friend Lucie Morris-Marr mentioned he was a “veteran within the discipline” and would have achieved all he might to forestall lives being misplaced within the crash.

She described him as a “humorous and vivacious” man who was in an “aviation love story” with Ms Lechowicz.

“Not many individuals get to work and journey with their soulmate, travelling the world going to glamorous locations,” she mentioned.

The couple had been skilled pilots who lived collectively in Camberley, Surrey. Ms Lechowicz moved to the UK from Poland in 1997.

In an announcement, the Polish embassy mentioned: “With nice disappointment, we obtained the information in regards to the dying of Izabela Lechowicz within the Leicester disaster.

“She was an incredible pilot, winner of the #Polka100 contest. It contributed to the creation of a constructive picture of Poland within the UK.”

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Jamie Cooper/HiOptic

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1000’s of bouquets of flowers and tributes have been left by Leicester Metropolis followers

Mr Vichai, 60, who was married and had 4 kids, purchased Leicester Metropolis for £39m in 2010.

Below his possession the membership received the Premier League in 2016, having began the season as 5,000/1 outsiders.

In an announcement, Leicester Metropolis mentioned the membership’s ideas had been with “the Srivaddhanaprabha household and the households of all these on-board right now of unspeakable loss”.

The membership described Mr Vichai as “a person of kindness, of generosity and a person whose life was outlined by the love he dedicated to his household and people he so efficiently led”.

“Leicester Metropolis was a household beneath his management. It’s as a household that we’ll grieve his passing and keep the pursuit of a imaginative and prescient for the membership that’s now his legacy,” it added.

A e-book of condolence might be opened at King Energy Stadium from Tuesday morning. The workforce’s subsequent fixture towards Southampton within the EFL Cup, scheduled for Tuesday night, has been postponed.

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Wembley Stadium

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Wembley Stadium has been lit in Leicester colors as considered one of quite a lot of tributes

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who witnesses mentioned ran out of the stadium in the direction of the crash scene, mentioned Mr Vichai had “modified soccer endlessly”.

“I can not imagine that is occurring. I’m so completely devastated and heartbroken,” he added.

Membership captain Wes Morgan tweeted: “Completely heartbroken and devastated concerning the information of our chairman. A person that was liked and adored by everybody right here at lcfc.”

Premier League chief government Richard Scudamore mentioned: “Vichai was a gentleman who graced the sport together with his civility and allure and we are going to miss him enormously.

“His impression on Leicester – the soccer membership and the town – might be remembered endlessly.”

Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest and Swansea Metropolis had been among the many soccer golf equipment that handed on condolences to Leicester.

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A photograph of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has been left among the many tributes on the membership’s floor

The helicopter got here down in a parking lot close to the stadium simply over an hour after Leicester had drawn 1-1 towards West Ham United within the Premier League.

Leicestershire Police confirmed no-one else had been injured and mentioned the Air Accidents Investigation Department had launched an investigation.

Supt Steve Potter mentioned: “Emergency companies had been instantly on scene when the crash occurred, working to place out the fireplace and achieve entry to the helicopter in makes an attempt to achieve these inside.

“Regardless of these efforts, there have been no survivors.”

Supt Potter mentioned it was prone to take a number of days to finish the investigation on the crash web site.

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5 folks, together with the Leicester proprietor, had been killed within the helicopter crash

Freelance photographer Ryan Brown, who was overlaying the sport, noticed the helicopter clear the King Energy Stadium earlier than it crashed.

He informed BBC Radio Leicester: “The engine stopped and I turned spherical and it made a little bit of a whirring noise, like a grinding noise.

“The helicopter simply went silent, I turned spherical and it was simply spinning, uncontrolled. After which there was a giant bang after which [a] massive fireball.”

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