The bodies of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant have been released back to their family along with the seven other victims of the helicopter crash Jan. 26, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s website.

All nine victims of the crash have been identified last week by DNA and finger prints from the crash site. In addition to Kobe Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, his daughter, the tragic crash also claimed the lives of Payton Chester, 13; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Christina Mauser, 38; Sarah Chester, 45; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; and the pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.


According to the coroner’s office, they determined that the deaths of all nine victims were caused by blunt force trauma. This was due to the preliminary information that suggested the helicopter descended rapidly before impact. The aircraft missed a hill by roughly 20 or 30 feet on its decent falling about 2,000 feet per minute.

The deaths were declared an accident by the coroner’s office, however, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still in the process of determining the cause of the crash that day. The NTSB is collecting evidence from the crash site as well as gathering pictures of the weather that day to determine if the weather was involved. Preliminary reports of the crash are expected to be released from the NTSB in the next few days. Yet the final reports will take about a year to be released to the public.

While the crash reports are still yet to be released, the Los Angeles County Fire Department release five phone call recordings during the time of the crash on Monday. These five callers described seeing flames and hearing a loud boom sound.

Callers far from the crash site described seeing a hill blanketed in with flames after the impact.

“A helicopter crashed into a mountain.” said the caller. “We heard it and now I’m looking at the flames. We’re looking at the flames on the hill right now.”

Callers closer to the site described seeing the helicopter in the helicopter in the clouds.

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