The sudden death of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020 left the sports world in shock and disbelief. Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed into Calabasas, a California hillside.
Bryant, 41, was on-board a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter that slammed into a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles. There were no survivors in the crash.
Aviation accidents have claimed plenty of lives of thousands of people, here we take a look at notable athletes who lost their lives in fatal plane crashes.
Jan 21, 2019: Footballer Emiliano Sala,28, of Argentina died after an aircraft came down in the English Channel.
Nov 28, 2016: A plane carrying Brazil’s Chapecoense club crashed in the Andes mountains near Medellin, Colombia. Three players survived while 19 others died.
Sep 7, 2011: Russian hockey team Lokomotiv, 27 players, two coaches and seven club officials, in Tunoshna, Russia.
Sep 15, 2007: Colin McRae, 39, the 1995 World Rally champion, was among four people killed in a helicopter crash, in Scotland.
Oct 11, 2006: Cory Lidle, 34, New York Yankees pitcher, in New York.
Jun 1, 2002: South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje, 32, died in a plane crash in George.
Oct 25, 1999: Payne Stewart, 42, winner of the 1989 PGA Championship and a two-time U.S. Open winner, two miles west of Mina, South Dakota.
Apr 27, 1993: After taking off from Gabon, a military aircraft carrying 18 footballers from Zambia’s national football team crashed into the sea.
Jun 7, 1989: 15 Suriname-born Dutch footballers died when an airplane crashed during landing at Suriname’s capital Paramaribo.
Dec 8, 1987: A plane carrying the Alianza club of Lima crashed in the Pacific Ocean and 16 players died.
Mar 14, 1980: U.S. amateur boxing team, 14 members, in Warsaw, Poland.
Jan 11, 1980: Bo Rein, 34, LSU football coach, in the Atlantic Ocean.
Aug 2, 1979: Thurman Munson, 32, New York Yankees catcher, in Canton, Ohio.
Aug 11, 1979: 17 players of Pakhtakor Tashkent team of a former Soviet football league died in a mid-air collision, above Ukraine on way to Belarus.
Jun 4, 1969: Mexican tennis player Rafael Osuna,30, near Monterrey, Nuevo León, “Pico del Fraile”, Tres Cerros.
Apr 3, 1961: Eight players from Chile’s Club de Deportes Green Cross died in a plane crash in the Andes mountain range in South America.
Jul 16, 1960: Eight Danish footballers died when a plane crashed into the Oresund Strait after taking off from Copenhagen Airport.
Feb 6, 1958: A plane crashed at Munich Airport killed eight players of England’s Manchester United.
May 4, 1949: 18 Torino football club players died in a plane crash near Turin.