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Kobe Bryant's daughter Gianna was among those who died in the helicopter crash.
Associated Press said the retired NBA star's 13-year-old daughter was on board when the crash happened over the hills in Calabasas, Los Angeles, this morning.
According to reports, Bryant and 'Gigi' were on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for basketball practice at the time of the incident.
The official NBA account also confirmed the news.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/P88GwIwmYV
- NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
A call for a downed helicopter went out at 10.01am this morning, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. Emergency services attended the scene and put out the fire.
Police also confirmed to the media that all nine people believed to be on board had died in the crash.
As of yet, the cause of the crash is not known.
Following reports of the crash, heartbreaking footage was released showing the the tragic aftermath of the crash.
The footage shows smoke billowing from the crash site, in the foggy hills north-west of the city, as emergency services respond to the scene.
Since news of the the 41-year-old's death was announced, there has been an outpouring of emotion from stars in the world of sports and entertainment.
Writing on Twitter, comedian Kevin Hart said: "This honestly doesn't make sense....I just saw you man. This hurts my heart. God please place your hands on his family and help guide them thru this unbearable time. We love you forever man...Legends never die!!!!..."
NBA champion and civil rights activist Bill Russell wrote: "Jeannine & I are absolutely shocked to hear of the loss of one of my favourite people & one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game! Our hearts & prayers to Vanessa & his girls. @kobebryant you were my biggest fan, but I was yours."
The Los Angeles Lakers star won five championships with the team, often being compared to Michael Jordan.
The tragic news comes only hours after he toasted fellow NBA icon and current Laker LeBron James for passing him to third place on the league's all-time scoring list.
After taking the record from him, Bryant congratulated his former opponent, writing: "Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: US News
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