The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday.
Bryant was among the passengers traveling on board the helicopter. Nine people died in the crash, including the pilot, said Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff, during a news conference.
The authorities declined to identify the victims pending identification by the coroner and notification of their family members.
“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand your loved one has perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” Villanueva said. “That is just wholly inappropriate so we are not going to be going there. We are going to wait until the coroner does their job.”
The National Transportation Safety Board said it sent a team to California on Sunday evening.
Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County fire chief, said the crash site was difficult to access and that firefighters had to hike to the area.
It was not immediately clear how many passengers the helicopter was approved to transport, and fire officials said it was not immediately clear whether the helicopter was overloaded. They declined to specify the helicopter’s destination.
The N.B.A. sent a confirmation of Bryant’s and Gianna’s deaths to all teams and league employees Sunday afternoon, according to two people familiar with the document. – The NY Times