Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Leicester City's charismatic Thai chairman became increasingly concerned on Sunday after a billionaire helicopter crashed from the club's place shortly after takeoff and burst into flames on the stadium parking lot.
Southeast Asia correspondent BBC tweeted that a "source close to the family" had confirmed that he was aboard, but there was no word from Leicester City or Thai officials from King Power, Vichai Duty Free shopping empire.
Images showed smoke from the fiery wreckage in the parking lot at King Power Stadium – the scene of unbridled rejoicing to Leicester's against all odds Premier League title in 2016.
Freelance photographer Ryan Brown, w Ho reported on the 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday, BBC Radio 5 Live said that he saw the helicopter rise before crashing out of the stadium.
"Literally the engine stopped and I turned around and it made a little whirring noise, it became silent, the blades began to spin and then there was a big bang."
He said he I saw "a huge fireball" as he ran to the scene.
None of the identity of the pilot or passenger "There is no information on whether someone was injured on the ground." (19659009) "We support Leicestershire Police and the Rescue Services in overcoming a major incident at King Power Stadium," the club said in a statement.
– "Heartbreaking" –
English legend Gary Lineker, a former Leicester player and host of the BBC's Match of the Day, tweeted: "That was the hardest @BBCMOTD I've ever hosted … A terrible tragedy Heartbreaking. "
Leicester footballers Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire tweet praying hands of emojis and West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta, who also played on Saturday, tweeted," My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the helicopter accident in Leicester City . "
Nualphan Lamsam or Madam Pang, an influential figure in Thai football managing the women's national team, sent" moral support to Vichai and his family "in a post on Facebook.
Vichai bought in 2010 Leicester City became chairman the following February, poured millions into the team and became a popular figure in the club and in the city – a feat not always achieved by the foreign owners of the Premier League.
"Thoughts and prayers to everyone – especially to owners. I've done so much for the club and our city," tweeted Leicester's Mayor Peter Soulsby.
Sky Sports said the helicopter had started between 1930 and 1945 GMT, but had developed problems with its tail rotor shortly after the war.
The local rescue service said it was alerted at 2138 GMT.
"We sent a doctor, two paramedics in ambulance, an ambulance with a crew, and our response team with the first resource I'll get in touch within two minutes of the call," he tweeted.
Air Crash investigators also examined the scene.
– Leicester's Miracle –
It was under Vichais's ownership that Leicester started one of the greatest fairy tales in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, the season as 5,000-1 outsider for the title ,
Vichai made major investments in the club after his purchase and returned it to England's Premier League from the second series Championship in 2014.
It initially seemed surpassed by richer and more established clubs from London, Liverpool and Manchester, languishing on bottom of the table for most of the 2014-15 season.
The foxes, like the crew, are nicknamed, then constructed, which the fans affectionately refer to as the "Great Escape", winning seven of their last nine games.
They finished 14th and secured another season in Europe's richest league in 2015/16.
But not even their most avid fans could have imagined what happened next.
Vardy, signed by the non-league Fleetwood Town, scored the men in blue for an unparalleled title in the Premier League's history in 11 consecutive matches]. It's also the first time they have won the lucrative Champions League qualified, the forefront of European football, played by the most successful teams on the continent, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.
There, Leicester City has once again demonstrated the odds and won group before finally losing their quarter-final 2-1 over two legs to Atletico Madrid.