According to US reports, NBA legend Kobe Bryant has been killed in a helicopter crash.
The 41-year-old’s private helicopter crashed 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California at around 10am on Sunday morning.
It has recently been confirmed that 9 passengers were on board, rather than the original count of 5, and there were no survivors. The basketball star’s daughter was also on board, she was just 13.
The helicopter crashed due to thick fog in the area. The pilot was flying blind, as the star’s private helicopter had not been fitted with ground sensing technology.
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 celebrity news site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down.
Roads in the area have been closed to stop people trying to get to the crash site.
Five-time NBA champion Bryant spent his entire 20-year career at the LA Lakers, retiring in April 2016. He was one of the all-time legends of the game, a two time NBA finals MVP and double Olympic champion; he was the 2008 MVP. He even won an Oscar in 2018 for his short film: ‘Dear Basketball’.
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