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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Helicopter owned by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashes at Leicester City football ground

It is not yet known if the club's chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was on board at the time of the accident.

A helicopter belonging to the chairman of Leicester City Football Club has crashed outside the club's ground, police said.

Following a 1-1 draw with West Ham, the helicopter took off from the pitch at the King Power Stadium at around 8.30pm on Saturday, as it does after every home game. Shortly after, the helicopter crashed into a car park close to the stadium.

Freelance photographer Ryan Brown, who was covering the game, told BBC Radio 5 Live he saw the helicopter rise out of the stadium before it crashed.

"Literally the engine stopped and I turned around, and it made a bit of a whirring noise. It turned silent, blades started spinning and then there was a big bang," he said.

He said he saw "a huge fireball" when he ran to the scene.

It is unknown who was on board at the time of the crash, or if any bystanders were caught up in the accident. However, the crash occurred some time after the end of the game, with the stadium and surrounding area having emptied considerably, according to local reports.

Leicestershire Police tweeted shortly after the accident, saying that emergency services were responding to the scene.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha bought the club in 2010, building the unfancied side to a Premier League title in 2016.

Members of the public and professional footballers alike took to Twitter to offer messages of support to the club in the wake of the incident, about which details are still emerging.