The wreckage of a helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others after it plummeted toward a fog-shrouded hillside has been hauled from the scene as the investigation into what caused the crash continues, officials confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday.
Federal investigators wrapped up the on-scene investigation in Calabasas, Calif., and will transport the remains of the chartered Sikorsky S-76B to an undisclosed, secure facility for further examination, the National Transportation Safety Board said via email.
NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said earlier this week the debris field was larger than 500 feet and described the scene as “devastating.”
The last of the bodies were recovered from the site of the tragedy on Tuesday.
Fingerprints were used to confirm the remains of Bryant, pilot Ara Zobayan; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli; and Sarah Chester.
While the coroner has not identified five other victims, relatives and acquaintances have identified them as Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna; Sarah Chester’s 13-year-old daughter, Payton; Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa; and Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach his daughter’s basketball team at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
The chopper had flown through dense fog to bring Bryant and the others to a youth basketball tournament in which Gianna, Payton and Alyssa were playing.
The NTSB revealed that the aircraft lacked a terrain awareness system that would have warned of an approaching hillside, but said it was unclear whether it would have averted what it called a “high-energy impact crash.”
The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.
The NTSB will release its full preliminary report in 10 days, but the final report could take 12 to 18 months, officials have said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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