Emergency workers remove what appear to be human remains from Kobe Bryant crash site

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020   •   2299

Weather conditions appear likely to come under the scrutiny of investigators probing the helicopter crash that killed former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others near Los Angeles on Sunday (January 26), when overcast skies and fog grounded other aircraft.

Bryant’s Sikorsky S-76 chopper slammed into a steep hillside outside the town of Calabasas, California, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, igniting a brush fire and spreading debris over a quarter-acre (1,000 square meters) of grassy terrain.

Hours later, Los Angeles County authorities said all nine people aboard the helicopter died in the crash.

On Monday (January 27), emergency workers began removing what appeared to be human remains from the crash site.

The deaths of Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were confirmed by the National Basketball Association, as expressions of disbelief and grief poured in from fans, fellow athletes and politicians.

Bryant and his entourage were reported by local media to have been on their way to a sports academy in the nearby city of Thousand Oaks, where he was to have coached his daughter’s basketball team in a youth tournament.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board began arriving in the area on Sunday to launch separate crash investigations. (Reuters)

(Production: Omar Younis)

PNP chief Gamboa released from hospital a day after Laguna chopper crash

Robie de Guzman   •   March 6, 2020

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa has been released from St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig on Friday afternoon, a day after he and seven others got injured in a helicopter crash in San Pedro, Laguna.

PNP acting spokesman Major General Benigno Durana confirmed this to media.

“Oo, discharged na siya,” he said.

Gamboa earlier said he would return to work on Monday after giving assurance that he is okay following the crash.

The PNP chief sustained minor injuries after the Bell 429 chopper they were riding in crashed in Laguna on Thursday morning.

Gamboa was with Directorate for Comptrollership Major General Jovic Ramos, Directorate for Intelligence Major General Mariel Magaway, and PNP Spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac. Two pilots, Gamboa’s aide, and a technician were also on board the helicopter.

Banac and four others also sustained minor abrasions while Magaway and Ramos are still unconscious and are in unstable condition.

Magaway and Ramos are being treated in separate hospitals in Biñan, Laguna.

Durana said Banac has also requested to be discharged from hospital as he wasn’t seriously hurt in the incident.

“Banac intends to be released tomorrow, upon the approval of his doctor,” he said.

In a statement, Banac thanked all those who sent messages of support and prayers for his recovery.

“Yes, I was shaken, but not stirred. And by God’s grace I am well and recovering now and raring to report back to duty as soon as I am cleared by my doctors,” he said.

“Let us join hands and thoughts in fervent prayer for the other PNP officers who suffered more serious injuries. We pray for their healing and strength to overcome this trial,” he added.

Gamboa’s aide de camp, Police captain Keventh Gayramara, was also released Friday afternoon.

PNP chief Gamboa in stable condition after Laguna chopper crash

Robie de Guzman   •   March 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Archie Gamboa is in stable condition as he recuperates from minor injuries that he sustained from the helicopter crash in Laguna on Thursday morning.

The PNP Public Information Office (PIO) said Gamboa has been transferred to St. Luke’s Hospital in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig around 10:15 a.m. from West Lake Medical Center in San Pedro, Laguna where he was first taken after the incident.

Gamboa and other PNP officials were in Laguna to inspect a compound of impounded vehicles of the Highway Patrol Group. The chopper was supposed to ferry them to Camp Vicente Lim in neighboring Calamba town when the crash occurred around 8 a.m.

Gamboa was on the 2-year old Bell 429 chopper with Directorate for Comptrollership Major General Jovic Ramos, Directorate for Intelligence Major General Mariel Magaway, and PNP Spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac. Two pilots, an aide, and a technician were also on board the helicopter.

Initial investigation showed that the chopper got entangled with power lines shortly after lift-off in San Pedro town.

The take-off site was sandy and the aircraft’s propellers fanned a thick dust which caused poor visibility. The chopper caught fire later on.

Gamboa, Banac and four others only sustained minor injuries, but Ramos and Magaway are in critical condition and are being treated in Unihealth Southwoods Hospital in Biñan, Laguna.

Banac and four others have also been brought to the St. Lukes Hospital in Taguig.

Meanwhile, former PNP chief and now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa posted a photo of him and a smiling Gamboa while lying on his hospital bed.

“Please pray for the fast recovery of my mistahs: Gen. Gamboa, Gen. Ramos, Gen. Magaway; PNP-PIO Gen. Banac and the rest of the passengers and flight crew of the PNP helicopter that crashed at San Pedro, Laguna this morning,” dela Rosa said in his Facebook post. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Vanessa Bryant: There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 30, 2020

The word ‘grief’ is not enough to describe the pain of losing a love one.

Vanessa Bryant expressed her devastation on Instagram after her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Sunday (January 26).

“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now,” she said.

There will be no words but only emptiness: in the shoes that will never set foot on the court, mugs that will never be filled during a beautiful Sunday morning, or family pictures that will never be the same.

Bryant also expressed her gratitude to the people who offered their support. She also asked everyone to grant them “the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.”

“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,” she said in her post.

View this post on Instagram

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. 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. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

She also offered her condolences to the other victims of the crash and called on the public to support the other families affected by the tragedy.

“To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.
To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org,” she said.—AAC

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