US basketball legend Kobe Bryant has been killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.
Bryant, 41, was travelling in a private helicopter when it crashed and burst into flames, according to media reports.
BBC reports that the LA County Sheriff’s department said five people died in the helicopter crash on Sunday, with no survivors.
The five-time NBA champion was widely considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history.
In a statement on Twitter, the City of Calabasas said it was “with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash”.
“The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt,” it added.
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Eyewitnesses told news site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine spluttering before it went down.
BBC reports state that authorities are investigating the cause of the crash and the LA County Sheriff’s Department said there would be a press conference at 22:00 GMT.
Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016.
Bryant’s achievements include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also two-time NBA scoring champion and a two-time Olympic champion.
He also won an Oscar for best short animated film in 2018 for Dear Basketball, a five-minute film based on a love letter to the sport he had written in 2015.
Paton Toboe in the USA confirmed to YTS News that he was in the helicopter with his daughter who also died in the crash with him.
Toboe said it is sad as a fan to hear this news as to most fans around the world this is unbelievable.Tributes are rolling in on social networks as the news shocks the basketball world.
Kobe Bryant’s daughter died alongside her father in a helicopter crash in California, reports TMZ.
Gianna Maria, 13, perished in the tragedy earlier today which has five confirmed fatalities.
It is believed they were on their way to basketball practice when the crash occurred in Calabasas, near central Los Angeles.
Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, also known as GiGi, was a talented youth basketball player who regularly attended LA Lakers games with her father.
His wife Vanessa is not believed to have been involved in the accident.
The pair share three other daughters, Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri.