US President Donald Trump offered his condolences and expressed grief over the death of legendary American basketball player Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna in a helicopter crash on Monday. Bryant, 41, who spent 20 years with the basketball team Lakers, was killed when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames Monday morning amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, 48 km north-west of Los Angeles.
Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
.....Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump also offered her condolences. So did his wife and First Lady of the US, Melania Trump.
Rest In Peace Kobe Bryant.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 26, 2020
Praying for a legend and the other passengers whose lives were lost and their families.
Thoughts and prayers to the family of #Kobe Bryant and those who lost loved ones in today’s tragic crash. Rest In Peace.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) January 26, 2020
It was reported that other than Bryant and his daughter, the helicopter was ferrying seven other people. The crash ignited brushfires, making it hard for rescue crews to get close to the site. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he would not confirm who had died until all the next of kin have been notified. Bryant’s death stunned Los Angeles and the sports world, which mourned one of basketball’s greatest players. Sources said the helicopter took off from Orange County, where Bryant lived.
“Our firefighters hiked into the accident site with their medical equipment and hose lines to extinguish the stubborn fire as it included the brush fire … and the helicopter,” LA County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said during a news conference. “The fire also included magnesium, which is very hard for firefighters to extinguish because magnesium reacts with oxygen and water.”
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability."
Silver added, “He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”