The Los Angeles Fire Department has released harrowing audio from multiple 911 calls from those who witnessed the tragic helicopter crash which killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, 41, and 13-year-old daughter Gianna were amongst the nine passengers killed when the Sikorsky S-76B they were travelling on crashed into a hillside in Calabasas.
Multiple callers reported hearing the helicopter fly overhead before seeing or hearing it crash and burst into flames last Sunday morning.
In audio obtained by ABC15, one man told a dispatcher: “A helicopter just crashed into a mountain.
“We heard it, and now I’m looking at the flames.”
“I can hear this plane, I think it was in the clouds,” he said.
“We couldn’t see it and then we just heard a boom and a dead sound. Then I can see the flames.”
Another man was standing in a car park at a nearby supermarket when he witness the helicopter crashing into the hillside after it had descended at 2,000 feet per minute.
“We heard it, and I’m now looking at the flames,” he said.
One caller did not see the crash but was concerned by the sudden silence after hearing a “pop” moments after hearing the helicopter fly overhead.
“I just heard a helicopter go over me,” he said. “It went over my head, it is thick in the clouds and then I heard a pop and it immediately stopped.”
The bodies of Bryant and Gianna were released to his family by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office on Monday, eight days after the crash.
They announced that all nine victims of the crash lost their lives to “blunt trauma” with the deaths certified as an “accident”.
Also among those who also died in the crash were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, his wife Keri, their daughter Alyssa and Harbor Day School assistant coach Christina Mauser.
Another young player, Payton Chester, was also killed along with her mother Sarah Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The accident was described as a “high energy impact crash” by Jennifer Homendy, a board member on the National Transportation Safety Board.
Los Angeles was blanketed by heavy fog on the morning of the accident, but the probable cause will not be confirmed until the NTSB release a final report into the incident, which may not be for another 12-18 months.