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Reports: Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant

CALABASAS, Cal. (WPTA21) - NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash just outside Los Angeles on Sunday, multiple news outlets reported.

The website TMZ posted one of the first accounts shortly after 2 p.m. Eastern Time, noting that Bryant was traveling on his private helicopter with several other people when the accident happened.

The report indicated that there were no survivors. The outlet said Bryant's wife, Vanessa, was not aboard.

ESPN reported that Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among those killed.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has confirmed a response to a downed helicopter with five people killed.

The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances, a spokesperson from the National Transportation Safety Board told ABC News.

Witnesses who were mountain biking in the area saw the helicopter in the distress, Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda told reporters. It is not known whether the pilot alerted over radio that the aircraft was in distress, Imbrenda said.

The scene of a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., Jan. 26, 2020. Photo via KABC

Bryant was 41 years old.

He was drafted to the NBA out of high school and spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships.

The City of Calabasas offered its condolences on social media.

This is a developing story.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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