WATCH SUNDAY’S DIGITAL NEWSCAST ON THE DEATH OF KOBE BRYANT, DAUGHTER AND 7 OTHERS:
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. (KLAS) — A helicopter crashed on a hillside in the Calabasas area and burst into flames, killing all nine people aboard Sunday morning, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. American basketball player Kobe Bryant, his daughter and 7 others were killed in the crash. TMZ was the first to report the death of Bryant, but officials said the Coroner’s office has not confirmed the identities of those that died in the incident.
Multiple sources, including TMZ and ESPN also reported that Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, or GiGi, was on board the helicopter.
Adrian Wojnarowski with ESPN says Bryant was on his way to a travel basketball game with his daughter GiGi when the helicopter crashed.
Wojnarowski said in a tweet that another basketball player and parent were among those in the helicopter with Bryant and his daughter.
Authorities say the helicopter crash happened in Calabasas, about 30 miles west of Los Angeles.
Officials give briefing on helicopter crash:
Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lost Hills station responded to the scene near Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street at around 10 a.m., the agency said.
Flames that erupted in the crash have been extinguished, the Sheriff’s Department said around 10:30 a.m.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as the FAA, are investigating the crash. The FAA says the helicopter that Bryant, his daughter and 3 others were on was a Sikorsky S-76.
It was reportedly foggy in the area at the time of the crash.
Bryant’s parents, Joseph and Pamela, have a residence in west Las Vegas. Joe Bryant, Kobe’s father, is an American retired professional basketball player and current coach. Bryant’s sister, Sharia, also has a residence in the west valley.
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet congratulated Lebron James for zooming past him for third place on the NBA’s career scoring list on Saturday.
Local stars and fellow basketball players, like Shaquille O’Neal, took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to voice their pain and send their condolences to Bryant’s family.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver delivered a statement following the news of Bryant’s passing, saying in part, “The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.”
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman also tweeted her condolences Sunday:
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.