Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, SIA reports.
At a press conference at 2.40pm local time in Los Angeles, the authorities confirmed the crash near Calabasas, California. They confirmed that there were nine bodies found in the wreckage, but would not reveal their names. A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that Bryant was among the dead, and NBC news also confirmed that both the 41-year-old star and his daughter were killed.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said it was a Sikorsky S-76 and it was not known what caused the crash. The LA County Sheriff's Department confirmed five dead in the crash, but had not released identities. Bryant lived south of Los Angeles in coastal Orange County for much of his adult life, and he often used helicopters to save time and avoid Southern California's notorious traffic. Even as a player, he often traveled to practices and games by helicopter, and he kept up the practice after retirement as he attended to his business ventures.
Colin Storm was in his living room in Calabasas when he heard ``what sounded like a low-flying airplane or helicopter.'' ``Ït was very foggy so we couldn't see anything,'' he said. ``But then we heard some sputtering, and then a boom.''
A short time later the fog cleared a bit and Storm could see smoke rising from the hillside in front of his home. Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers' LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant's hometown.
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