Home Feature Story Kobe Bryant: Basketball legend and daughter die in helicopter crash
Kobe Bryant: Basketball legend and daughter die in helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant: Basketball legend and daughter die in helicopter crash

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US basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California, along with his daughter Gianna and three others.

Bryant, 41, was travelling in a private helicopter when it crashed and burst into flames, according to reports.

The five-time NBA champion was widely considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history.

Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death.

“Please no. Please god no. It can’t be true,” basketball player Kevin Love wrote on Twitter.

The NBA issued a statement saying it was “devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna” aged 13.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” it said.

The identities of the other victims have not yet been released.

What do we know about the crash?

In a statement, 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.

Gavin Masak, who lives nearby, told CBS News of the moment the helicopter crashed.

Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers

“It wasn’t exactly like an explosion sound but it was like a loud boom. It sounded like a helicopter, but it sounded like a jet, like it was loud, so I went inside and told my dad what was happening. So when I came out I saw smoke on the hill but it wasn’t like a big, black cloud of smoke, it was just grey,” he said.

Other eyewitnesses told celebrity news site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department shared pictures from the scene of the accident, showing a fire truck and smoke emerging from the hills.

The US Federal Aviation Administration identified the crashed helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76. It said it was investigating the accident alongside the National Transportation Safety Board.

Officials were set to give further details at a press conference expected to begin at about 22:30 GMT.

Daz

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