Five die in California helicopter crash; TMZ says Kobe Bryant was killed

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant speaks to reporters at a Major League Soccer event in downtown Los Angeles, U.S. January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Rory Carroll

(Reuters) – Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning, TMZ reported without citing a source.

TMZ said Bryant was traveling with at least three other people in his private helicopter when it went down in Calabasas, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff said on Twitter that five people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas and that there were no survivors.

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 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, TMZ said.

Reporting by Mekhla Raina and Daniel Trotta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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