Monday 20 May 2019

'I'm terribly sad but I'm fine' - Leicester boss Claude Puel confirms he wasn't on board crashed helicopter

Leicester boss Claude Puel has expressed his sadness following the helicopter crash
Leicester boss Claude Puel has expressed his sadness following the helicopter crash Sportsdesk

Leicester boss Claude Puel has expressed his sadness following the and moved to reassure those that may have been worried he was not on board the helicopter that crashed outside the King Power Stadium on Saturday night.

Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, a Thai tycoon, was among five people on board a helicopter that crashed and then exploded after Leicester's 1-1 draw with West Ham.

He told Radio France "It's a tragedy for the club.

"I think very strongly about the victims and their families, and I wanted to reassure everyone who cares about me, I'm terribly sad but I'm fine."

Leicestershire Police has said the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) will now be leading the investigation into the circumstances of the helicopter crash.

In a new statement released in the early hours of Sunday, the force said: "The aircraft came down in a car park near the stadium shortly after 8.30pm yesterday evening (Saturday 27 October) with Leicestershire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service all responding to the incident.

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"A cordon is currently in place at the scene to enable the AAIB to examine the area and complete their initial enquiries.

"Leicestershire Police will be supporting the AAIB in its investigation, liaising closely with Leicester City Football Club as enquiries continue."

Sunday's Women's Championship clash between Leicester and Manchester United at the King Power Stadium has been called off following the crash.

The ladies reserve league match against Derby was also postponed.

Flowers were being laid at the stadium on Sunday morning.

Small bouquets were left outside the ground by members of the public alongside a large image of the Hindu god Ganesh which was also propped up in amidst the flowers.

A small candle was placed in front of the flowers as more people gradually gathered to pray for anybody who may have been on the helicopter.

Leicester defender Filip Benkovic dedicated Celtic's Betfred Cup semi-final win to the families of those involved in the accident after helping his loan club to a 3-0 win over Hearts.

The 21-year-old Croatian, who joined Leicester from Dinamo Zagreb in August before moving north, said: "Last night was really bad for everyone. Nobody expected this would happen. So I want to give this win to the families."

Snooker's world number one Mark Selby is from Leicester and said that he found it hard to concentrate during his International Championship win over Li Yuan.

"Out there today I wasn't there," he told World Snooker.

"I was there in person, but mentally my head was elsewhere with what happened at the football club yesterday. It was a tough day.

"He (Srivaddhanaprabha) has put Leicester on the map. I've been fortunate enough to meet him, he put me in the director's box the day we won the Premier League, a great guy."

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