Leicester helicopter crash: ‘Minimal chance’ of survival for five on board

(L-R): Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer Image copyright Getty Images/Facebook/Instagram
Image caption (L-R): Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer were killed in the crash on 27 October

There was “minimal chance” for anyone to survive a helicopter crash outside Leicester City’s stadium in which five people died, an inquest has heard.

Club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died alongside four others when the aircraft came down shortly after a match on 27 October.

Det Ch Supt David Sandall told the inquest an intense fire stopped anyone getting in or out of the cabin.

He said CCTV footage showed the helicopter “spinning out of control”.

Image copyright King Power
Image caption The Leicester City players joined Buddhist prayers for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Coroner Catherine Mason heard that Mr Sandall, of Leicestershire Police, was the senior identification manager.

He said CCTV footage taken from the tunnel on to the football pitch and mobile phone footage showed the helicopter taking off and spinning out of control.

The hearing at Leicester Town Hall was adjourned shortly after opening.

A date for its resumption has not been set.

Players and staff are set to return to the UK after attending the start of Mr Vichai’s funeral in Thailand.

Two members of Mr Vichai’s staff – Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai – pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz were also killed in the crash.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash having taken the wreckage to a facility in Farnborough, Hampshire.

The AAIB has also confirmed contents of the digital flight recorder survived the post-crash fire.

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