North East football clubs' thoughts and prayers with Leicester City after helicopter disaster

People pay tribute at Leicester City Football Club after a helicopter used by club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, crashed into flames in a car park near the stadium shortly after 8.30pm on Saturday. Picture Aaron Chown/PA Wire
People pay tribute at Leicester City Football Club after a helicopter used by club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, crashed into flames in a car park near the stadium shortly after 8.30pm on Saturday. Picture Aaron Chown/PA Wire

North East football clubs have sent their thoughts and prayers to Leicester City after a devastating helicopter crash.

The helicopter used by Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed in flames near the King Power Stadium shortly after Saturday's 1-1 draw with West Ham ended last night.

Sunderland AFC released a post on Twitter saying: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those at @LCFC following the terrible incident at the King Power Stadium this evening."

Hartlepool United also tweeted: "Our thoughts and prayers with all those involved in or affected by the helicopter accident at Leicester City this evening."

And Newcastle United also took to the social media platform to send the message: "The thoughts of everyone at Newcastle United are with all at @LCFC following the incident after tonight’s match at the King Power Stadium."

Match of the Day host and Leicester fan Gary Lineker said on Twitter: "That was the most difficult @BBCMOTD I’ve ever hosted. Thoughts are with everyone at Leicester City. A terrible tragedy. Heartbreaking.

The air accident watchdog has launched an investigation into why the aircraft fell to earth in a car park near the stadium.

The BBC has reported a source close to the family as saying that Srivaddhanaprabha was on board the helicopter when it crashed, but the police and club have not confirmed who was on board.

Witnesses said the helicopter seemed to spiral out of control moments after it set off from the stadium at about 8.30pm on Saturday and plummeted into the car park.

The club's owner is known for arriving and leaving the stadium in his helicopter at home games.

While the BBC has reported a source close to the family as saying that Srivaddhanaprabha was on board the helicopter when it crashed, the police and club have not confirmed who was on board.

The tragedy is being described as the "darkest day" in Leicester's history, and mourners began laying wreaths near 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.