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Leicester City owner among five dead in helicopter crash

The owner of Leicester City FC died when his helicopter crashed outside the stadium, the club has confirmed.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his staff, the pilot and a passenger were killed when the aircraft spiralled out of control and crashed in a fireball on Saturday.

It had just cleared the King Power Stadium when it came down at about 20:30 BST.

The Duke of Cambridge said he was "lucky to have known" Mr Vichai.

Leicestershire Police said it believed the dead to be:

  • Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

  • Two members of his staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare

  • Pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz

(L-R): Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Kaveporn Punpare, Nursara Suknamai, Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer were killed in the crash

Mr Swaffer had over 20 years' flying experience as a private jet and helicopter pilot.

His career included flying helicopters for live media broadcasting including Channel 4's The Big Breakfast and the Virgin Radio traffic helicopter.

Mr Swaffer's friend Lucie Morris-Marr said he was a "veteran in the field" and would have done all he could to prevent lives being lost in the crash.

She described him as a "funny and vivacious" man who was in an "aviation love story" with Ms Lechowicz.

"Not many people get to work and travel with their soulmate, travelling the world going to glamorous places," she said.

The couple were professional pilots who lived together in Camberley, Surrey. Ms Lechowicz moved to the UK from Poland in 1997.

Media captionSea of tributes to Leicester City owner

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See Reaction below:

Culled from BBC

RIP to all involved, may God give those you left behind the courage and strength to bear the loss. My heartfelt condolences.

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