Kobe Bryant: Basketball legend dies in helicopter crash

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US basketball legend Kobe Bryant was among five people 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 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 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.

“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 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.

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Source: BBC.com

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