Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha: Leicester crash video shows moment owner’s helicopter spins out of control
- New footage has emerged showing horrifying moments before fatal crash
- Leicester players will wear black armbands at Cardiff on Saturday in tribute to victims
Horrifying new footage has emerged showing the moment Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter spun out of control.
The clip, which leaked onto social media, is filmed by someone pitchside inside the King Power Stadium, where the helicopter took off from the centre circle about 30 minutes after Leicester’s 1-1 home draw against Crystal Palace last Saturday.
The video shows the helicopter rising 200 feet into the sky and hovering above the stadium, before an apparent problem with the rotary tail causes the aircraft to go into a tailspin.
The helicopter then begins to fall before disappearing out of sight behind one of the stadium’s stands, as the person filming quickly turns away and stops recording.
Scary new footage of the Leicester City Football Clubs owners Helicopter crash pic.twitter.com/Z9gnXEcnXI
— Ste Thomas (@stiffan67) October 30, 2018
The new footage does not show the crash, which killed Srivaddhanaprabha, his personal assistant Nusara Suknamai, fellow Leicester employee Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz, who was also a pilot.
CCTV footage from outside the stadium has also emerged showing the helicopter falling to the ground in the stadium car park after losing control.
The helicopter’s black box, which recorded flight data and the conversations of the people inside, is being analysed after being recovered from the crash site, where it was “subjected to intense heat as a result of the post-accident fire”, according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).
Inspectors will remain on site at Leicester’s stadium until the end of the week, an AAIB statement said, with the wreckage to then be transported to specialist facilities for examination.
Books of condolence were opened at the club on Monday as thousands of fans laid floral wreaths in tribute to the man they credit with inspiring their fairy-tale run to the Premier League title in 2016.
Leicester’s players and staff, and Srivaddhanaprabha’s family, also visited the memorial and paid their respects to the victims.
Claude Puel’s team will return to action at Cardiff in the Premier League on Saturday, the club said in a statement on Tuesday.
“An announcement on the rearrangement of the club’s League Cup fourth round tie against Southampton, postponed earlier this week, will be made in due course,” the statement added.
There will be a minute’s silence before kick-off in the Welsh capital, and both teams will wear black armbands in tribute to the five people killed in the crash.
“Following Saturday evening’s terrible events at King Power Stadium, the thoughts and feelings of Leicester City FC are at the forefront of our minds,” Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo said.
“As such, we will be offering our support to Leicester City in any way necessary in respect of this weekend’s fixture.”
Former Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who guided the underdog club to their unlikely and historic title under Srivaddhanaprabha in 2016, has revealed he was “terribly shaken” by the death of the man who hired him.
“He was a good man and always had a positive word for everyone,” Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia. “His positivity and ability to make everybody love him was clear for all to see. He came into the locker room only to dispense kind words, never to reproach you.
“One time soon after my birthday, he arrived in the locker room with a huge cake and made everyone sing ‘Happy Birthday’.
“He was an illuminated man and everything he touched became better.”
Riyad Mahrez, who starred in Leicester’s title triumph as the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Season, dedicated his winning goal against Tottenham for new club Manchester City to Srivaddhanaprabha.
“It has been very, very difficult for me. It is not easy to have this type of stuff. The ‘Boss’ was very special to me,” Mahrez told Sky Sports.
“I spent four and a half years there and have many memories with him. He was such a good person.
“I am very, very sad. That is why when I scored I put my hands in the sky for him. He did a lot for me and Leicester and it is difficult to speak.
“He was like a dad. He was very special. He was such a good person, a big heart and it was heartbreaking and shocking for me to hear this news and for all of the other people who died with him.”