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NTSB to investigate chopper crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others

Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s all-time greats whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed on Sunday (January 26) in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said. He was 41.

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.

“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 told a news conference, declining to identify any victims.

The Federal Aviation Administration identified the crashed helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76, saying in a statement that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would investigate.

Ahead of the departure of a go team, the NTSB’s Jennifer Homendy said, “We’ll have a team of 18 who will be investigating the accident with expertise in operations, human performance, airworthiness, structures and power plants.”

Homendy added, “Our team will be looking at the history of the pilot and whatever crew was on board. We’ll be looking at maintenance records of the helicopter. We will be looking at records of the the owner and operator of the helicopter and a number of other things.”

(Production: Angela Moore)

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