NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on a remote, steep hillside in Southern California on Sunday, his sudden death at age 41 touching off an outpouring of grief for a star whose celebrity transcended basketball.
The chopper went down in Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
A witness told RMG News that he heard some noise “like a helicopter was struggling” and the “engine was not really running fast.”
“Was very low…. I pick up a call, I spoke to my friend, I heard some explosion. Then smoke come out, cars back and forth here,” the witness explained.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said firefighters hiked in with medical equipment and hoses, and medical personnel rappelled to the site from a helicopter, but found no survivors.
Authorities said that nine people died, with no survivors, after earlier putting the death toll at five. Bryant, an all-time basketball great who spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, was among the victims, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
A different person familiar with the case confirmed that Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna also was killed.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva would not confirm the identities of the victims Sunday afternoon pending official word from the coroner.