Kobe Bryant dead: NBA legend killed in helicopter crash – latest updates

The 41-year-old was travelling in a helicopter that crashed in a remote field in Calabasas at 10am local time, about 40 miles (65km) northwest of central Los Angeles. Bryant was travelling with eight other people when his private helicopter went down – not of whom survived. A teammate from Bryant’s daughter’s basketball team, a parent of the teammate, and the pilot were also killed, NBC News reported.

Emergency services rushed to the scene but were unable to save anyone that was on board with nine people confirmed dead.

It is understood his Byant’s wife Vanessa was not on board. The cause of the helicopter crash is now under investigation.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff said emergency services put out the flames at the crash site, posting a picture of a fire engine and smoke emerging from the brush in a ravine. 

The City of Calabasas has confirmed the death of Bryant.

In a statement they said: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash (Image: GETTY)

kobe bryant dead

Kobe Bryant dead: Smoke rises from the scene of a helicopter crash (Image: REUTERS)

“The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning.

“Nobody on the ground was hurt. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.”

LA County sheriffs also tweeted: “Nine people confirmed deceased, no survivors in #Calabasas helicopter crash. #LASD #Malibu deputies remain with #LA County Fire personnel. Investigation ongoing.

“Avoid the area until further notice.”

READ MORE: Sporting world pays tribute to Kobe Bryant after tragic helicopter crash

kobe bryant crash

Kobe Bryant dead: People watch as smoke rises from the crash scene (Image: REUTERS)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement: “This is a moment that leaves us struggling to find words that express the magnitude of shock and sorrow we are all feeling right now, and I am keeping Kobe’s entire family in my prayers at this time of unimaginable grief.”

The US Federal Aviation Administration identified the crashed helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76, saying in a statement that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate.

Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died in the crash, TMZ has confirmed.

The celebrity news website said they were travelling to the Mamba Academy for basketball training when their helicopter went down.

The academy is near Thousand Oaks in California.

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kobe bryant emergency

Kobe Bryant dead: Emergency services rushed to the crash site (Image: AFP PHOTO/Tim Horton)

Kobe Bryant dead: The scene of the helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant dead: The scene of the helicopter crash (Image: GETTY)

Bryant famously used a private helicopter for travel dating back to his days as a star player for the LA Lakers basketball team, when he commuted to games throughout the US in a Sikorsky S-76 chopper, celebrity news website TMZ said.

The NBA legend is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their four daughters – Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and newborn Capri.

Bryant is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, having spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was an 18-time All-Star and was named in the All-NBA Team on 15 occasions.

Bryant was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2005 and racked up 1,346 regular season career appearances between 1996 and 2016.

kobe bryant tribute

Kobe Bryant dead: People gather around a makeshift memorial in front of Staples Center in Los Angeles (Image: GETTY)

The Lakers legend helped his side to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002 and continued to rank among the top players across the league until knee and shoulder injuries forced his retirement at the end of the 2015/16 season.

Bryant was the youngster player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points, hitting the milestone aged 34 years and 104 days.

He surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers’ all-time leading points scorer in February 2010 and has the joint-most All-Star MVP awards – tied with Bob Pettit on four.

Bryant also won Olympic gold medals as a member of the US National team at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Bryant also achieved success off the court with his film ‘ Dear Basketball’ winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Kobe Bryant dead: The Lakers legend has passed away after a helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant dead: The Lakers legend has passed away after a helicopter crash (Image: GETTY)

Just last night Bryant congratulated current Lakers star LeBron James for becoming the NBA’s third-highest scorer of all-time.

He tweeted: “Continuing to move the game forward. Much respect my brother.”

And LeBron also said he was happy to be in the same conversation as Bryant.

“I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bryant,” said James.

“One of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers.

“The man’s got two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”

Kobe Bryant has tragically died in a helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant has tragically died in a helicopter crash (Image: GETTY)

Tributes have come pouring in for Bryant since the news broke of his tragic death.

“NO NO NO NO KOBE!!!!!!! PLEASE BE A DREAM. KOBE CAN’T BE GONE,” former NFL star Shannon Sharpe tweeted.

“Oh no. How awful,” tweeted former Barcelona and England striker Gary Lineker. “One of the greatest sportsmen of our lifetime. Utterly tragic.”

“Horrible!!!!” tweeted UFC president Dana White. “RIP my man.”

UFC bantamweight Aljamain Sterling tweeted: “RIP to a real leader and motivator #KobeBryant.”

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant tweeted: “This one hurt. Not my guy. Numb.”

Barack Obama called the basketball star a “legend on the court” as he and wife Michelle sent their condolences to Bryant’s family.

The former US President tweeted: “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.

“To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”

Ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky tweeted: “Janet and I have no words to describe our shock and sadness on the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant today. Praying for him and his family.”

At age 34, Kobe became the youngest player in NBA history to surpass the 30,000 point mark.

Speaking of putting up points, Bryant was known for his 81 point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. It was one of the greatest performances in modern NBA history.

It wasn’t just on the court he was a success either as back in 2018 he won an Oscar for short film, “Dear Basketball”.

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