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Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna Die In Helicopter Crash

US basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna are among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.

Bryant, 41, was travelling in a private helicopter when it came down and burst into flames.

The LA county sheriff said there were no survivors. Early reports had suggested five people were on board.

Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, was widely considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history.

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Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death.

Moments of silence have been observed at basketball games across the US.

Bryant has also been remembered by gat the Grammy Awards which are being held at the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium, where the player spent his entire career.

“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now,” said Grammy host Alicia Keys.

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“Because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”

The NBA issued a statement saying it was “devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna” aged 13.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” it said.

What do we know about the crash?
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the helicopter manifest indicated that nine people were on board when it crashed, raising the number from five in earlier statements by officials.

In a statement, the City of Calabasas said it heard the news “with great sadness”.

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“The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt,” it added.

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.

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The LA County Sheriff’s Department shared pictures from the scene of the accident, showing a fire truck and smoke emerging from the hills.

The National Transportation Safety Board identified the crashed helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76B and said it was sending a team to investigate the crash.

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Written by Bonface Osano

Communication And Media Student. Sports Writer.

Email: news@kahawatungu.com

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