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Leicester City owner's helicopter crashes: Outpouring of grief and tributes as fans gather at stadium [photos]



Tributes are being paid at Leicester City’s King Power stadium after a helicopter belonging to the club’s Thai owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, crashed in a car park shortly after taking off from the stadium on Saturday night.

There are unconfirmed reports that Srivaddhanaprabha and his daughter were among five people killed in the crash, although neither the club nor police have released an official statement on any casualties.

The Thai businessman ’s helicopter was seen taking off from the pitch shortly after Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham in the Premier League. Eyewitnesses describe it spiraling out of control, and footage of the crash site showed a huge inferno.

Football fans have gathered at the home of the Foxes to pay tribute in the wake of the cash, with pictures and footage from BBC Leicester showing flowers, scarves and other memorials not far from the crash site.

Many from the world of football expressed their shock at the incident, including former Leicester City player Gary Lineker.

Fellow TV presenter Jake Humphrey, who was reporting live from the stadium when the incident happened, also described his horror, while West Ham, Leicester's opponents on Saturday, offered their support.

In 21 years, delivering this news live, with little information was the single hardest moment. You can see the shock.

Srivaddhanaprabha, 61, is worth an estimated $3.8 billion through his duty-free retail empire, and bought Leicester in 2010 for a reported £39 million.

His investment helped the club return to England’s top-flight, before the Foxes defied 5,000-1 odds to secure a stunning Premier League title in the 2015-16, widely seen as one of the greatest underdog stories in sporting history.

Srivaddhanaprabha endeared himself to the club’s players, staff and fans through his humility, generosity and personal touch in the club’s affairs.

He is a regular visitor at matches, and is often seen leaving in his helicopter from the pitch to return to his London home.

Many players and staff were left in tears on hearing the news of the crash on Saturday night.

Some of the items laid at the King Power Stadium as tributes continue to pour in are religious symbols, flowers and football shirts at crash scene.

More photos..


Photos credit © Reuters

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