King Power Stadium incident – five believed dead

Issued on 28/10/18 at 10:00 p.m.

Five people are believed to have died when a helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium yesterday evening (Saturday 27 October).

The five people were on board the helicopter when the incident happened. While formal identification has not yet taken place, they are believed to be Leicester City Football Club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his staff, Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

The force has been working to ensure that all the relevant next of kin had been informed prior to this information being confirmed publicly.

The aircraft came down in a car park near the stadium shortly after 8.30pm with Leicestershire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service all responding to the incident.

No one else is believed to have been injured.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is leading the investigation into the accident and a cordon remains in place at the scene while enquiries continue.

Leicestershire Police will be supporting the AAIB in its investigation, liaising closely with Leicester City Football Club as enquiries continue.

Superintendent Steve Potter said: “This is an incredibly tragic incident in which five people are understood have lost their lives.

“Emergency services were immediately on scene when the crash happened, working to put out the fire and gain access to the helicopter in attempts to reach those inside. Despite those efforts, there were no survivors.

“The AAIB is now leading an investigation to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the crash and investigators will remain at the scene to complete their initial enquiries. It is likely to take several days to fully complete the necessary work and to safely deal with the scene of this tragic accident, during that time we ask that both the media and public resist speculating around the cause of the crash.

“We appreciate that both the public and media were keen to be updated on the circumstances and to confirm if those on board the helicopter had survived, but before any detail could be issued publicly, it was vital that all immediate next of kin were informed of the tragic outcome. As our communities will understand, this was a matter that needed to be handled sensitively and with dignity, with the families of the deceased being at the heart of our response, which involved other agencies.

“Our thoughts today are with the families of those who have sadly died, with Leicester City Football Club, and with both football supporters and the wider local community who have all been impacted by the events of last night and the news that those on board the aircraft have not survived.”

The AAIB and Leicestershire Police are asking that anyone who witnessed the crash to call 101 quoting incident number 546 of 27 October 2018.

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