Nine dead in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in Calabasas

SHOWS: CALABASAS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 26, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. LOS ANGELES OFFICIALS AT NEWS CONFERENCE

2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA, SAYING:

"FAA is already on scene and assisting, we're waiting the arrival of the coroner's office to assist on the recovery of the remains. As the chief indicated, there were no survivors. We have a manifest that indicates that there was nine people on board the aircraft, the pilot, plus eight individuals. There is wide speculation who the identities are, however, it'd be entirely inappropriate right now to identify anyone by name until the coroner has made the identification through their very deliberate process and they made notifications to next of kin. And it'd be extremely disrespectful to understand that your loved one has perished and you learn about it from TMZ, that is just holy inappropriate, so we're not gonna be going there. We're going to wait until the coroner does their job and we're assisting the families of those who believe that been impacted, it's a tough process. And our hope goes out to all of the members that were on board, all the family of everyone that was on board this aircraft and God bless their soul. So, at this point of time we have nothing that we can add until the coroner does their job and we'll be making those notifications when we have the information and we know the next of kin have been notified, then we can release the information, probably."

3. SCENE OF HELICOPTER CRASH

STORY: Former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter among nine killed in California helicopter crash.

Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA's all-time greats whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said. He was 41.

"There were no survivors. We have a manifest that indicates there were nine people on board the aircraft, the pilot plus eight individuals," Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a news conference, declining to identify any victims.

Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers, 18 of them as an all-star, and winning five NBA championships. His death sent shockwaves through the National Basketball Association, which he helped propel to international prominence, and around the world.

The chopper went down around 10 a.m. (1800 GMT) in hilly terrain in Calabasas, California, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of central Los Angeles, sparking a brush fire, officials said.

Asked by reporters if he believed there were nine bodies at the crash site, after earlier reports indicated only five dead, Villanueva said: "That is our belief, yes."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among those killed, and sent condolences to Bryant's wife, Vanessa.

A teammate from Bryant's daughter's basketball team, a parent of the teammate, and the pilot were also killed, NBC News reported.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli was also killed, the Orange County Register reported, citing assistant coach Ron La Ruffa.

"We're going to wait until the coroner does their job and we're assisting the families of those who believe that been impacted, it's a tough process. And our hope goes out to all of the members that were on board, all the family of everyone that was on board this aircraft and God bless their soul," said Sheriff Villanueva.

(Production: Omar Younis, Norma Galeana)

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