Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, above, died in a helicopter crash along with his young daughter Gianna and seven others outside Los Angeles early on Sunday, multiple reports say.
The twin engine, 12-seat Sikorsky S-76 private helicopter went down a hill in foggy weather near Calabasas and burst into flames after crash around 9.40am, Alex Villanueva, the sheriff of Los Angeles County, said.
Among the nine killed were the unnamed pilot, baseball coach of Orange Coast College John Altobelli, his wife Keri, daughter Alyssa and a basketball coach of Harbor Day School, Christina Mauser.
The helicopter took off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County at 9.06 am and police received the crash alert at 9.47 from a witness at a church located not far from the crash site.
Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter were heading to Mamba Sports Academy when the accident happened.
Rescue efforts were hampered by a bush fire around the crash site after the aircraft burst into flames.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.
President Trump expressed his shock over the “terrible news” of Bryant’s death.
Former NBA player Michael Jordan said Kobe was like a little brother to him.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant and their three children Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
The NBA champion and Olympic gold medallist was one of the sharpest shooters of his generation.
He represented Lakers for 20 years and retired only after amassing 33,643 points and winning several covetable awards.