Los Angeles: Retired National Basketball Association (NBA) star Kobe Bryant was killed alongside eight others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas of southern California on Sunday. He was 41.
“Nine people died in the helicopter crash in which NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed,” news agency AFP quoted police officials as saying.
The retired Los Angeles Lakers star was travelling in his private helicopter over Calabasas when a fire broke out, sending the chopper spiralling from the sky, according to TMZ Sports. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore, was also killed in the crash.
CNN later confirmed Bryant’s death. There has been no word from his family so far.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas,” the City of Calabasas confirmed on its official Twitter account, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10 AM. Nobody on the ground was hurt, the city tweeted.
Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene near Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street at around 10 a.m, the department tweeted.
An investigation into the matter is underway.
Bryant, born in Philadelphia, spent his 20-year professional basketball career playing for the LA Lakers. He won five NBA championships and two Olympic gold medals for basketball, retiring from the sport in 2016.
(With IANS inputs)