The helicopter owned by Leicester City soccer club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha exploded outside the King Power Stadium after the team's 1-1 draw against West Ham United Saturday. Reports have yet to confirm whether Srivaddhanaprabha was on board.
The crash occurred around 8.30pm, roughly an hour after the final whistle was blown. Nearby witnesses reportedly explained that the helicopter had barely reached the upper deck of the stadium before a suspected tail rotor error occurred, causing the helicopter to spiral into the staff parking lot. Following the crash, the helicopter was up in flames, prompting emergency services to rush to the scene. Most fans and players had cleared out from the stadium by the time the crash occurred, although one eye-witness account explained that the team's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel ran towards the helicopter after the fact. The rest of the squad were reportedly on their way back to London, however, reports have not accounted for the number of casualties or parties injured.
A Leicester ticket holder told The Guardian, "It just came out of the stadium already spinning, then down to the ground. Just in a spiral. It hit the ground with a big bang then burst into flames. It’s over on the other side of the car park, I don’t think there were people there. I’m shaking like anything."
The team tweeted a brief comment following reports of the crash, writing "A Leicester city spokesperson 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."
Since purchasing the club in 2010, the Thai businessman is considered to be one of the reasons the club has risen in the English soccer hierarchy. Largely due to Srivaddhanaprabha's backing and influence, the team went on to earn their first ever Premier League title in 2014.