The retired N.B.A. star, 41, and his daughter Gianna were among nine people in a helicopter that crashed near Calabasas, Calif. A college baseball coach and his wife and daughter were also killed.
The authorities in Los Angeles County said it could take several days to recover bodies from the crash site, as the helicopter crashed in rough terrain.
The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday.GlendaleHelicoptercrash siteLos AngelesMalibuFlight path of helicopterLos AngelesInt’l AirportAnaheimLong BeachJohn WayneAirport10 mi.30 km.
Bryant was among the passengers traveling onboard the helicopter. Nine people died in the crash, including the pilot, said Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff, during a news conference.
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.
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 other victims of the crash included John Altobelli, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif., as well as Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa, university officials said.
Bryant and his daughter were on their way to an academy where he coached her team.
Outside the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., fans laid flowers and lit candles at an impromptu memorial for their star. The gym had handwritten signs on the door: Closed.
A few dozen people, adults of all ages, stood huddled in silence around the memorial of several jerseys, candles, dozens of bouquets, Sports Illustrated magazines with Bryant on the cover, and a Lakers flag. Written on one bouquet was “We love you Kobe and Gigi.” Another card, the shape of a Lakers basketball, read, “The day we lost a legend: 1-26-20 Thank you for being a role model for me and for others.”
Bryant was on his way to the academy to coach his daughter when the helicopter crashed, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge details of the ongoing investigations.