Former NBA star Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash in Los Angeles

NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others killed in a helicopter crash in southern California.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 01:28

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
REUTERS

NBA legend and former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was killed Sunday in a helicopter accident in Los Angeles.

The 41-year-old former LA Lakers shooting guard, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, a teammate of hers and her parent, and the pilot were killed when Bryant’s private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, in Los Angeles County, NBC News reported.

While initial reports said there were five people on board the helicopter when it crashed, Los Angeles police later said a manifest for the helicopter listed nine people — eight passengers and one pilot.

The helicopter crashed after a fire broke out onboard, TMZ Sports reported. It is unclear at this point how the fire was sparked.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Bryant's helicopter was a Sikorsky S-76.

Vanessa, Bryant’s wife, was not on board the chopper at the time of the crash.

There are no survivors, and according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the crash involved multiple fatalities.

“AIRCRAFT DOWN Battalion 5 units working a multiple fatality helicopter crash in #Calabasas the #NTSB is currently in route to this incident. @LASDHQ is on scene and assisting,” the LA County Fire Department tweeted.

The Los Angeles County Sheriffs’ office later confirmed that five people were killed in the crash.

“Five people confirmed deceased, no survivors in #Calabasas helicopter crash. #LASD #Malibu deputies remain with #LA County Fire personnel. Investigation ongoing,” the office tweeted.

Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa. He spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers, after being drafted in 1996, before retiring in 2016.

President Donald Trump called the crash "terrible news", tweeting: "Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!"

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement via Twitter following Bryant's death.

"I was saddened to hear about the tragedy in the US; a sad day for everyone around the world who loves sports. Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players in history, was killed today in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. He is survived by his wife and four children, and millions of basketball fans around the world. He won't be forgotten."




top