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Ex-basketball star Kobe Bryant, four others dead in helicopter crash

(Reuters) – Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant, a basketball prodigy and son of an NBA player who went on to win five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in helicopter crash in California on Sunday, officials said.

Kobe Bryant

Four other people died in the crash in a remote field around 10 a.m. local time (1.00 p.m. ET) about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of central Los Angeles, the city of Calabasas said on Twitter. There were no survivors.

The identity of the other victims was not released.

First responders put out the flames of the crash site, Los Angeles County Sheriff said, posting a picture of a fire truck and smoke emerging from the brush in a ravine.

Bryant, 41, was known to use a helicopter for travel dating to his days as a star player for the Los Angeles Lakers, when he commuted to games in a Sikorsky S-76 chopper, the celebrity news website TMZ said.

The U.S. 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.

Bryant won five NBA championships with the Lakers and was named an NBA all-star 18-times in his 20-year career with the team. He was third leading scorer in league history with 33,643 points until LeBron James passed him on Saturday.

Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.

Source: Reuters

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