Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight other individuals died on Sunday morning after the helicopter they were riding in crashed into the hills above Calabasas, California, and burst into flames. Recovery efforts are ongoing, but authorities have only found three of the nine bodies.
The LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner provided an update Monday about the ongoing search for the victims' bodies. Three of the bodies were found among the helicopter wreckage, but the rest were not located on Sunday. The report did not reveal which bodies had been recovered.
"Personnel from the department's Special Operations Response Team (SORT) are advancing their efforts today in recovering bodies from a helicopter crash that occurred in Calabasas on Sunday," the LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner said in a statement.
"Yesterday afternoon, investigators recovered three bodies from the helicopter wreckage located in the 4200 block of Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas. However, efforts were suspended due to darkness and safety concerns," the statement continued. "Last night, the bodies retrieved from the site were transported to the department's Forensic Science Center for identification and examination."
The Special Operations Response Team continued the search for the remaining bodies on Monday. Further details were not provided by the LA County Coroner, but there will be daily updates provided.
Along with Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, the other victims in the crash were John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
Alyssa was a teammate of Gianna's and John was a well-known baseball coach for Orange Coast College. Mauser was also an accomplished basketball coach at an Orange County private school.
The cause of the crash has not been identified, but the National Transportation Safety Board sent a team of investigators to the site. According to ESPN, the NTSB typically issues a preliminary report within about 10 days of a crash. This will provide a rough summary of what the investigators learned during their time at the crash site. However, it could take up to a year for the cause of the crash to be revealed.0comments
Heavy fog was believed to be one potential cause for the tragic crash, especially after the helicopter climbed to roughly 2,400 feet before diving to the ground. The Flightradar24 data reportedly shows that the helicopter was traveling at 160 knots (184 mph) and descending at a rate of more than 4,000 feet-per-minute when it struck the ground.
(Photo Credit: APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)