HONG KONG, China, Oct 29 – The death of Thai billionaire and Leicester City football club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash has shocked fans, but it is not the first air accident in sport.
Here are eight other aviation disasters to hit the sports world:
– Manchester United –
Eight members of Manchester United’s celebrated ‘Busby Babes’ team were among 23 people who died when their plane crashed after attempting to take off in poor conditions in Munich on February 6, 1958.
England superstar Duncan Edwards was among those killed, while Sir Bobby Charlton — who went on to win the World Cup with England — was only slightly hurt. Manager Matt Busby recovered from serious injuries and rebuilt United into a force that would win the European Cup a decade later, in 1968.
– Rocky Marciano –
American boxing legend Rocky Marciano was killed when his jet crashed into a tree as it was coming in to land in the US state of Iowa, on August 31, 1969. Marciano, 45 when he died, was world heavyweight champion between 1952 and 1956 and retired undefeated with a 49-0 record.
– Uruguay rugby team –
Uruguay’s Old Christians rugby team were on a plane which came down in the remote Andes mountain range on October 13, 1972. Only 16 of the 45 on board were rescued, two-and-a-half months later — during which time the starving survivors resorted to eating the frozen remains of those who died in the accident.
– Zambia football team –
On April 27, 1993, an aircraft carrying Zambia’s national football team crashed into the sea shortly after take off from Gabon, en route to play Senegal in a World Cup qualifier, killing all 25 on board. The team was recognised as one of the strongest fielded by the African nation, having thrashed Italy 4-0 at the 1988 Olympic Games. A report into the crash, issued a decade later, blamed pilot error and an engine problem.
– Matthew Harding –
In an incident with striking similarities to the Leicester crash, Matthew Harding, vice-chairman of Premier League football club Chelsea, died on October 22, 1996 when his helicopter came down in poor weather as he returned from a League Cup win against Bolton Wanderers.
Like Vichai, the popular Harding was known for his largesse and ploughed millions of pounds into his club.
– Payne Stewart –
The flamboyant American golfer Payne Stewart was killed on October 25, 1999 after his jet lost pressure and hurtled into a field in the northern US state of South Dakota. Stewart, aged 42 when he died, had 11 PGA Tour victories and three major titles.
– Russian ice hockey team –
A plane carrying top-tier Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed due to pilot error after taking off for their first game of the 2011-2012 season in the Belarus capital, Minsk. All of the players were killed.
– Chapecoense –
A plane carrying Brazil’s Chapecoense football team ran out of fuel and crashed in the Andes near Medellin, Colombia, on November 28, 2016.
Seventy-one of the 77 people on board were killed, including 16 of the 19 players. Chapecoense were en route to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional.