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NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant and daughter die in helicopter crash in Southern California

CALABASAS, Calif. — Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine deaths in a Southern California helicopter crash. The Los Angeles County Fire Depar...
kobe and gigi

CALABASAS, Calif. — Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine deaths in a Southern California helicopter crash.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department says the crash occurred in Calabasas, around 9:47 a.m. about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles County fire officials said there were no survivors when the helicopter crashed. 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said a flight manifest on the helicopter indicated there were nine people, including the pilot, on the helicopter when it went down. 

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among those killed. According to ESPN, the two were traveling to a basketball game with another player and parent when the crash happened.

Access to the crash site is difficult, and deputies are trying to keep mourners away from the area as they investigate.

“Right now, as you can imagine, it’s a logistical nightmare in a sense because the crash site itself is not easily accessible, however, we’re now faced with well-wishers and people mourning who have descended on the area…,” said Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Officials are asking people to stay away from the area at this time.

Recovery efforts are ongoing and will take some time to finish. According to Dr. Jonathan Lucas, chief medical examiner for Los Angeles County, recovery could take as long as a couple to a few days due to the conditions at the site.

“Our priority is completing the recovery as quickly as possible but safely and thoroughly and doing that to make sure our staff are safe,” said Lucas.

After recovery, the next priority for officials will be identification and notification. Lucas said some bodies have already been transported and are waiting to be examined in the coming days.

18 members of the National Transportation Safety Board are heading to the scene where the helicopter crashed. The helicopter was identified as a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76. 

NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said at a news conference that investigators will look at the pilot’s history, the maintenance records and information on the helicopter’s owner and operator. 

Homendy said investigators were not sure how many people the aircraft was configured to carry.

Bryant was a mega-star in NBA history. He was a five time NBA Champion, 18-time NBA All-Star, and four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP. Bryant was also the fourth-highest scoring point leader in NBA history.

Word of Bryant’s death at age 41 is rocketing around the sports and entertainment worlds, with many stars taking to Twitter to register their shock, disbelief and dismay.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary:  five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA AllStar selections, and two Olympic gold medals”

Bryant’s legacy exceeded the court as he inspired countless people around the world to pick up a basketball. Silver says that inspiration is large part of what people will remember him for.

“He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna,” said Silver.