Leicester City chairman was on chopper when it crashed, BBC says

Thai-owned Premier League champions Leicester City Football Club Chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. (Bloomberg pic)

NEW YORK: Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the chairman of the Leicester City, was on a helicopter that crashed outside the English Premier League soccer club’s King Power Stadium, the BBC reports.

The crash happened about 45 minutes after the team played West Ham. The chopper, owned by Vichai, got into problems shortly after takeoff and slammed into a nearby parking lot, bursting into a ball of flames, according to multiple reports.

The BBC reported that a person close to the family said Vichai was on the helicopter when the incident occurred about 8:30pm local time.

“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,” a Leicester City spokesman said in a statement on Twitter.

Vichai is worth US$3.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Most of his wealth derives from King Power Group, which he developed into Thailand’s biggest duty-free company. He also controls 4% of AirAsia, the region’s biggest discount carrier.