What we know so far about Leicester helicopter crash

What we know so far about Leicester helicopter crash

Footballers and high-profile sporting figures have expressed their shock after a helicopter often used by Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed outside the King Power Stadium.

Srivaddhanaprabha, a regular at his side's Premier League matches who flies to and from home games, was on board when the helicopter appeared to develop a mechanical problem in its rear propeller after takeoff.

Leicestershire Police said the others who died were Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, who were members of Mr Srivaddhanaprabha's staff, as well as pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

The other victims were the pilot and two of Srivaddhanaprabha's associates.

"At about 8:30 this evening, eyewitnesses told me they saw the Leicester City owners' helicopter take off from the pitch inside the King Power Stadium - as it does after every game - and after a few seconds it appeared to lose control", he said. "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".

It also confirmed that Tuesday's first team fixture against Southampton in the EFL Cup and a development squad fixture against Feyenoord in the Premier League International Cup had been postponed.

"Emergency services were immediately on scene when the crash happened, working to put out the fire and gain access to the helicopter in attempts to reach those inside".

It is not known who was in the helicopter when it crashed nor what conditions they are in, but there are fears that several people had been killed.

The aircraft came to rest on its port side in a vehicle park.

The tragedy is being described as the "darkest day" in Leicester City's history, and mourners began laying wreaths near the stadium on Sunday morning. A small candle was placed in front of the flowers as people gathered at the stadium. "Thank you Boss! Rest well!"

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Leicester City was bought in 2010 by Vichai, who also owned the Thai duty-free retail giant King Power.

Italian aerospace company Leonardo SpA said on Sunday it was ready to help with an investigation into the crash of one of its AW169 helicopters at Leicester City soccer club on Saturday, stressing that it was the first accident involving the aircraft, which was introduced in 2015, Reuters reported.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has confirmed it is sending a team to the crash site.

A Women's Championship clash between Leicester and Manchester United scheduled to be played at the King Power Stadium on Sunday was called off.

A spokesman added: "A team from the AAIB has been deployed to the site and is investigating".

The area was evacuated.

"A cordon is now in place at the scene to enable the AAIB to examine the area and complete their initial enquiries".

"It is hard to put into words how much you have meant to this football club and to the city of Leicester".

"We have sent a doctor in a auto, two paramedics in ambulance cars, a crewed ambulance and our Hazardous Area Response Team, with the first resource arriving within two minutes of the call".