Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Thai billionaire and founder of duty-free operator King Power International, is feared dead after a helicopter belonging to him crashed when leaving a match for Leicester City Football Club.
Srivaddhanaprabha, one of his daughters, two pilots and a yet unidentified person were on board the aircraft on Saturday night, according to a Reuters’ source close to the club, which the Thai businessman owned.
The helicopter crashed, bursting into flames, outside the King Power Stadium shortly after taking off from the pitch following a match against West Ham.
“We understand that many people are waiting for an update about the helicopter crash at King Power Stadium last night,” Leicester Police said. “We are working with a number of other agencies to get an update out to the public and press. Thank you for your patience and all your messages of support.”
Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, started King Power, Thailand’s largest duty-free operator, in 1989 and served as its chairman. The company operates nine stores across Thailand, receiving a royal warrant from the Thai king in 2009. Srivaddhanaprabha showed a keen interest in soccer and polo, purchasing Leicester City in 2010.
The father of four is estimated by Forbes to possess a fortune of $4.9 billion, ranking fifth on Forbes’ Thailand richest list and 388 on its billionaires list overall.