Officers honoured for efforts to save five killed in Leicester helicopter crash

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Four officers who risked their lives to try and save Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others killed in a helicopter crash have been nominated for bravery awards.

The Thai billionaire died alongside his two staff members Nusara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare, the pilot Eric Swaffer and crew member Izabela Lechowicz when the aircraft spun out of control on October 27 last year.

Pc Steve Quartermain, Pc Kevin Marsh, Pc Michael Hinton and Sergeant Mike Hooper are now being publicly recognised for their efforts to rescue the group, after being nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.

The officers, who were on duty during Leicester City’s match with West Ham United, suffered heat and scorch marks to their faces after running towards the crash scene to try and preserve life.

Speaking about the night, Sgt Hooper said: “The day started as any other day does – we were there to police a football match.

“What we faced by the end of the evening was something that we wouldn’t have expected.

“It was extraordinary circumstances and something that no police officer would ever want to face in their entire career.”

He continued: “We only acted instinctively how any other police officer across the country would’ve reacted.

“We were just doing our job. We have had to come to terms with the fact that we couldn’t save the five victims.”

Pc Marsh said: “I’ve never really thought about what I actually did that evening but placed in that situation would I do the exact same thing again? Yes I would.”

Pc Quartermain said: “It’s a real honour to have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.

Leicester City fans hold up banners in honour of late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (Mike Egerton/PA)
Leicester City fans hold up banners in honour of late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (Mike Egerton/PA)

Pc Hinton said: “To be nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards is overwhelming and really honouring.

“I feel really proud to have been nominated and to represent Leicestershire Police.”

Dave Stokes, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, said: “Our four officers acted with real bravery, rushing towards the crashed helicopter. In the blink of an eye, they risked their own lives in an attempt to get to the occupants.

“Sadly it wasn’t with a better outcome and our thoughts remain with the loved ones of those who lost their lives that night.”

Mr Stokes added: “They should be incredibly proud of their courageous actions that night.”

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