The Los Angeles police expect that it may take a few days before the nine victims of the fatal helicopter crash can be identified. The investigation into the cause of the accident that killed Sunday to basketball legend Kobe Bryant (41) is in full swing on Monday.
The accident happened in a hilly area near Calabasas, a few dozen miles outside of Los Angeles. "It is a logistical nightmare because the scene of the accident is very difficult to reach," said Sheriff Alex Villanueva of the Los Angeles police.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board started an investigation into the circumstances independently of each other on Sunday. Both teams are also working on Monday at the scene of the accident.
"Given the circumstances and condition of the area of the accident, it may take a few more days for all victims to be identified," said Jonathan Lucas on behalf of the investigators. "We do everything we can to provide clarity to the families as quickly as possible."
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Dense fog mentioned as a possible cause
Bryant regularly moved by helicopter due to traffic in and around Los Angeles. The crashed device is a Sikorsky S-76 that was built in 1991.
Immediately after the accident it was assumed that the dense fog and bad weather conditions could have played a role. For this reason, the police in Los Angeles kept their own helicopters on the ground until Sunday afternoon.
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Families of victims come out
Although the victims have not yet been identified, various relatives have already made known via (social) media who the occupants of the aircraft were. The identity of eight victims is therefore already known.
Besides Bryant and his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna, John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa are also among the victims. Orange Coast College confirms that, where Altobelli coached the baseball team.
Alyssa was a teammate of Gianna Bryant. The company was en route to a basketball tournament in Thousand Oaks, where Kobe Bryant would coach his daughter's team.
Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton were also in the helicopter, writes primary school director Todd Schmidt on Facebook.
The eighth victim is Christina Mauser, an assistant coach of a girls' basketball team. "My children and I are deeply sad. We have lost our wife and loving mother in the helicopter accident," husband Matt Mauser writes on Facebook.
Bryant leaves his wife Vanessa and three daughters: Natalia (born in 2003), Bianka (2016) and Capri (2019).
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