The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said rescuers have recovered the bodies of all nine victims from the helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13 year-old daughter Gianni and seven others.
In a statement by information officer, Sarah Ardalani, the coroner’s office said three bodies were retrieved from the scattered wreckage by a special response team on Sunday – the day of the crash.
The remaining six were located as the search resumed in rugged terrain Monday.
Top left, Christina Mauser, below, Sarah and Payton Chester; Keri and Alyssa Altobelli ; Top right, the pilot Ara Zobayan and below, John Altobeli. The Bryants, Kobe and Gianni in the middle
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The coroner’s office said the remains were ‘removed from the crash site and transported to the department’s forensic science centre’ for examination and identification.
Bryant, 41, was travelling with his daughter and seven other passengers and crew when the Sikorsky S-76 slammed into a rugged hillside in thick fog in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles.
Also killed were John Altobelli, 56, longtime head coach of Southern California’s Orange Coast College baseball team; his wife, Keri; and daughter, Alyssa, who played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter; and Christina Mauser, a girls’ basketball coach at a Southern California elementary school.
Another young player, Payton Chester, was also killed in the crash along with her mother, Sarah Chester.
The coroner’s statement:
The bodies of the nine people who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday have been recovered, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner announced.
On Sunday afternoon, personnel from the department’s Special Operations Response Team (SORT) recovered three bodies from the helicopter wreckage located in the 4200 block of Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas.
The next day, the search continued for the other six helicopter occupants. Soon after, their bodies were located, removed from the crash site and transported to the department’s Forensic Science Center.
Currently, investigators are actively working on identifying the decedents. Additionally, body examinations are in progress.
The Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner will provide immediate updates on the names of the decedents as soon as they are officially verified and their next of kin have been notified.
Also, updates will be posted on the department’s official Twitter page @lacountymec.
Any media inquiries about the crash can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.