WATCH: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Provides an Update on Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Crash

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Posted: Jan 26, 2020 5:28 PM
WATCH: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Provides an Update on Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Crash

Source: Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

UPDATE (2:47 p.m. PST):

According to LA Fire Chief Daryl Osby, 56 personnel, paramedics, engine company, truck company, hand crews and aircraft were deployed as soon as the call came in shortly after 10 a.m. local time. When crews arrived, a quarter-acre fire was burning. The area included magnesium, which is hard for firefighters to put out. Not only did firefighters had to hike in but a helicopter flew in, along with paramedics, early into the incident. They conducted a search area for survivors. Unfortunately, all people on board were found dead. 

According to County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are now taking over the investigation. They are currently on scene.

Villanueva said there appeared to be eight individuals plus the pilot on board. Although there is speculation about the identities of those on board, he said it would be inappropriate to identify those people and make their names known until the next of kin is identified. He specifically named TMZ, the first outlet to identify Bryant as the crash victim, as an inappropriate place for family members to learn about the accident. 

In addition, he had nothing to add until the coroner processes the scene and does their job. After that, they will be able to release additional information.

UPDATE (2:35 p.m. PST):

Authorities are saying it will be approximately eight more minutes before the press conference starts. They're still working to determine answers to the questions the media has questions to. 

The press conference will include Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby. 

ORIGINAL POST:

National Basketball Association legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. At least five people are confirmed dead, including both Kobe and Gianna.

According to TMZ, at least one other person has been identified. The third person we know of who was in the helicopter is John Altobelli, the head basketball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California.

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A fire broke out, but it's unclear whether the fire happened before the helicopter went down.

TMZ obtained audio of emergency personnel being dispatched to the scene of the crash.

According to ongoing reports, Bryant was traveling from his home in Newport Beach to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice. Even when Bryant was still with the Los Angeles Lakers, he reportedly flew by private jets to and from his home and the Staples Center, where he played.

To make matters even worse, while reporting about the incident, an MSNBC reporter said Kobe played for the "Los Angeles N***ers" instead of the "Los Angeles Lakers." People immediately called for the reporter's resignation. 

Below is a live feed of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's 2:30 p.m. PST update on the crash (courtesy of The Washington Post):