The 911 calls placed immediately after Kobe Bryant's fatal helicopter crash were released on Monday, February 3 by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Several of the callers highlighted the poor visibility in the area at the time of the accident, and one of them couldn't even see the aircraft but heard it crash into the hillside in Calabasas, California on Sunday, January 26.
Kobe, daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others lost their lives in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating why the chopper went down, but the heavy fog that morning is thought to have been a contributing factor.
"I just heard a helicopter go over me. It went over my head. It’s thick in clouds. And then I just, I heard a pop, and it immediately stopped," one caller told dispatchers in the audio.
"I’m walking on the trail. I could hear the plane, I think it was, in the clouds. We couldn't see it. And then we just heard a ‘boom’ and a dead sound, and then I could see the flames,” another caller said. "A helicopter crashed into a mountain. We heard it. And now I’m looking at the flames," a third caller explained.
The Los Angeles County coroner's office confirmed they had released Kobe and Gianna's bodies to the family on Monday. They were positively identified after the crash by their fingerprints, and memorial service plans are currently underway.
Vanessa Bryant broke her silence on her husband and daughter's deaths on Instagram on Wednesday, January 29.
"My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri," Vanessa wrote.
She continued, "We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality."