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Leicester City confirms owner Vichai died in helicopter crash

English football club says owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was among five people killed in crash next to its stadium.

English football club Leicester City has said Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was among five people who died when a helicopter crashed next to its stadium.

The 60-year-old retail entrepreneur's helicopter burst into flames shortly after taking off from the football field on Saturday at the team's King Power Stadium.

The club's statement on Sunday did not name the other four victims.

"In Khun Vichai, the world has lost a great man. A man of kindness, of generosity and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully led," the statement said.

"Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy."

Vichai bought Leicester for 39 million British pounds ($50m) in 2010 when it was in the second-tier Championship and bankrolled the revival that peaked with the 5,000-to-1 outsiders improbably winning the English Premier League in 2016.

Having accomplished one of the greatest underdog stories in the history of sports, the central England team is now valued by Forbes at 371 million British pounds ($476m).

According to Forbes magazine, Vichai was the fifth richest person in Thailand with an estimated net worth of $4.9bn.

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