A helicopter belonging to Leicester City football club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed in a ball of flames in the club’s car park on Saturday, British media said.
It was not known whether Vichai, a father of four and the founder of duty-free giant King Power International, was in the helicopter which had taken off just moments before from the pitch, about an hour after the end of the game.
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The helicopter just cleared the top of the stadium before spiraling out of control and plummeting to the ground and exploding, eye witnesses said.
Leicester police said they were dealing with an incident near the club’s King Power Stadium and that emergency services were also at the scene.
A spokesman for the club said: “We are assisting Leicestershire Police and the emergency services in dealing with a major incident at King Power Stadium.
Vichai has become a huge favorite with the fans after he bought the unfancied side in 2010, before they stunned the world of soccer by beating the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea to win the Premier League title in 2016.
Freelance photographer Ryan Brown was covering the game and saw the helicopter clear the stadium before it crashed, the BBC reported.
WATCH: A helicopter belonging to Leicester City football club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed in a ball of flames in the club’s car park on Saturday, British media said
“Literally the engine stopped and I turned around, and it made a bit of a whirring noise,” Brown told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It turned silent, blades started spinning and then there was a big bang.”
Leicester had played a league match at home against West Ham United earlier on Saturday, drawing 1-1.
The self-made businessman Vichai founded Thai duty-free giant King Power in 1989.
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The duty-free business got a big boost in 2006 when it was granted an airport monopoly under the government of then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and it continued to prosper even after Thaksin’s ouster in a coup that year.
The family’s empire also includes Belgian football club, Oud-Heverlee Leuven.