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Probe: No engine failure in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

CALABASAS, CA - JANUARY 26: Investigators work at the scene of a helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California. Nine people have been confirmed dead in the crash, among them Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — Wreckage from the helicopter that crashed last month and killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others did not show any evidence of engine failure, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and the others died in the Jan. 26 crash in Calabasas, California. The group was flying to a girls basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy. Gianna’s team was coached by Bryant and was playing in the tournament.

The NTSB is investigating the accident, including any role heavy fog played, and a final report isn’t expected for at least a year.

The helicopter’s instrument panel was destroyed in the crash and most of the devices were displaced, according to the NTSB’s investigative update that was released Friday. The flight controls were broken and suffered fire damage.

IRVINE, CA – JULY 26: Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant watch during day 2 of the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships at the Woollett Aquatics Center on July 26, 2018 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Investigators believe that since a tree branch at the crash site was cut, it appears the engines were working and rotors turning at the time of impact.

Friday’s report was merely informational and did not offer any information about what caused the crash. The victims’ deaths have been ruled an accident by blunt trauma, according to the Los Angeles County coroner.

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