(Reuters) – Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant and four other people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning, the city of Calabasas reported.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt,” the city of Calabas said on Twitter.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff said on Twitter that five people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of Los Angeles, and that there were no survivors. It did not identify the victims.
First responders put out the flames of the crash site, the sheriff’s department 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 championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was an 18-times NBA All-Star who wore the No. 24 during his 20-year career with the team.
Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.
(Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru, Daniel Trotta and Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)