Federal investigators are looking for answers in a plane crash in Kobe Bryant
41-year-old Kobe Bryant, the legendary basketball star who spent 20 years with the Lakers, died on Sunday morning when the helicopter he flew into fell in the fog and caught fire on the hills above Calabasas.
His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also on board, NBA authorities confirmed.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the helicopter had nine people, a pilot, and eight passengers. He will not confirm who died until all family members are notified. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Sunday evening that recovery could take several days due to the state of the scene and its remoteness. Officials have closed the roads leading to the site due to a large number of visitors trying to get there.
The Sikorsky S-76B, built-in 1991, flew out of John Wayne Airport at 9:06 on Sunday, according to publicly available flight data. Chopper marched over Boyle Heights, not far from Dodger Stadium, and flew over Glendale during the flight.
The disaster occurred shortly before 10 am near Las Virgenes Street and Willow Glen Street in Calabasas. Authorities received a 911 call at 9:47 a.m. and firefighters arrived to discover that the accident caused a quarter acre of fire in steep terrain, said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby. The defendants included 56 firefighters, firefighters, a helicopter with medical personnel, hand brigades and sheriffs.
Our firefighters went to the scene with their medical equipment and hose lines to extinguish a constant fire, including a bush … and a helicopter, ”Osby said at a press conference Sunday afternoon.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Council are investigating the incident. The FBI also assists in the investigation, which is standard practice. The NTSB database does not show previous incidents or accidents for an aircraft. The helicopter was registered with Island Express Holding Corp., located in Fillmore, according to the California Secretary of State’s business database. The Sikorsky helicopter manufacturer said on Sunday in a statement that it was cooperating with the investigation.