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Kobe Bryant was among five people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
The 41-year-old Lakers legend was reportedly traveling in a private helicopter when she crashed and burst into flames.
Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, was considered one of the greatest players in basketball history.
The homage of celebrities and fellow sports stars is pouring in, many of whom express shock at his sudden death.
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The identities of the other victims have not yet been revealed.
In a statement, the city of Calabasas said that “with great sadness we learn about the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash.”
The statement adds: “The plane crashed in a remote field near Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. No one on earth was hurt. ”
Gavin Masak, who lives nearby, told CBS News about the moment the helicopter crashed.
He said: “It wasn’t exactly like the sound of an explosion, but it was like a loud boom. It sounded like a helicopter, but it sounded like a jet, like it was strong, so I went inside and told my father what was going on. So when I went out, I saw smoke on the hill, but it wasn’t like a big, black cloud of smoke, just gray. “
Other eyewitnesses told the celebrity news site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine splash before it crashed.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office shared photos from the scene, showing a fire truck and smoke coming out of the hills.
The FAA identified the crashed helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76. He said he was investigating the accident with the NTSB.
Officials will provide additional details at a press conference at 14:00 local time.
Kobe Bryant played his entire 20-year career at the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016.
His accomplishments include the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008 and a two-time MVP of the NBA Finals.
Kobe Bryant was also a two-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic champion.