It has been revealed that the pilot of the Leicester owner’s helicopter saved hundreds of lives by steering the stricken aircraft away from crowds of fans close to the stadium during the tragic crash.
Leicester City’s Thai owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was killed when his £6.6million aircraft crashed seconds after taking off on Saturday night after the club’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United.
Srivaddhanaprabha wass one of five persons that died in the crash.
Others were 33-year-old Nursara Suknama, who is the runner-up in Miss Thailand Universe 2005; Kaveporn Punpare, from Bangkok, another passenger and the pilot, Swaffer.
But without the actions of pilot Swaffer, the terrible scenes could have been even worse.
Witnesses told Express Sports that the pilot appeared to miss the 32,000-seater arena before the chopper crashed on wasteland next to the car park.
More than 1,000 staff, fans at a corporate level and media were still inside the stadium when the tragedy happened.
The pilot, however, veered the almost uncontrollable helicopter towards an isolated area, saving hundreds.
One witness said, “If it had hit the stadium or even landed near the entrance, who knows what would have happened? The pilot probably saved hundreds of lives.”
Corporate guest Shane Carmichael, 32, said, “It’s a sight that will live with me for the rest of my days. Nobody could have survived.
“It was like a film. It was like the pilot was trying to get away from the stadium.
“Then it came down behind the factory next to the car park. It was a massive explosion, the whole place lit up.”
Two police officers tried to rescue victims by using a baton and a fire extinguisher to smash the windows.
Sky Sports cameraman Dan Cox said, “I heard it coming out of the stadium. I just looked up and it was spinning, static, just out of control, just a constant spinning. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“I don’t know how the pilot did it but he seemed to manage to slow down the spinning rotation and it drifted off into the corner part of the car park.
“It could have crashed where I was, in car park E, it could have crashed into the building. It could have crashed into the media compound where they were all packing up from doing TV.
“But he managed to crash that helicopter in a part of the ground where there wasn’t anybody.
“To my mind the pilot was heroic and the two police officers who also tried to help are heroes too.”.