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NBA legend Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash

By Vincent Ashitey
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant

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, and Gianna, 13, were travelling in a private helicopter when it came down and burst into flames.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Witnesses reported hearing the helicopter's engine sputtering before it went down. 

It is unclear where the chopper departed from or where it was headed. 

Bryant -worth $500m - is survived by his wife Vanessa and their four daughters, who are thought to have not been on board.

His shock death sparked an outpouring of grief from the basketball world.

The Philadelphia native spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships and 18 All-Star titles before he retired in 2016. 

He was the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.  

 

He was picked up by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers.