Kobe Bryant plane crash
Kobe Bryant plane crash

Kobe Bryant, an American basketball legend, was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, and Bryant, 41, was with eight other people, including his daughter Guyana, on board the private plane when it fell and caught fire.

The police said there were no survivors in the accident. It was reported earlier that the plane was carrying five people, and Bryant, who has won five times in the NBA League, is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes in the history of the game.

Condolences poured into the death of Bryant, a celebrity and player, many of whom expressed shock, and in basketball games across the United States, every minute stood in mourning for Bryant's soul.

His death also overshadowed the Grammy Music Awards, which took place at the stadium of his former Los Angeles Lakers, where he spent his entire sporting career.

"We are all very sad at this moment. Earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the world have lost a hero. We stand here literally heartbroken in the house built by Kobe Bryant," said concert host Alicia Keys.

The National Basketball Association issued a statement mourning Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter.

What do we know about the accident?
Police said the plane's records show that it was carrying nine people, not five, officials said earlier.

A statement from the city of Calabasas stated that "with great sadness we learned of the killing of Kobe Bryant."

"The plane crashed into a remote field off Las Virginia, at about 10:00 this morning. No one was hurt on the ground," the statement added.

Geffen Masak, who lives near the scene, told CBS News the moment the helicopter crashed.

"It was not quite like the sound of the explosion, but it was like a loud boom. I went inside and told my father what was going on, then I saw smoke on the hill, but it was not like a big black cloud of smoke, it was just gray," he said.

Other witnesses said they heard the helicopter's engine explode before it fell.

The police released photos from the scene, showing a fire truck and smoke billowing over hills.

The US Federal Aviation Administration identified the crashed helicopter, the Sikorsky S-76B. She said she was investigating the accident, along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Who is Bryant?

Bryant has played throughout his 20-year career with the Lakers. He retired from play in April 2016.

His accomplishments include winning the title of Best Player in the NBA for 2008 and Best Player for two times in the League Finals, as he was the league's top scorer twice and Olympic champion twice.

Kobe became famous for scoring 81 points during a match against the Toronto Raptors team in 2006, which is the second highest number of points scored by one player in a match, in the history of the National Basketball Association.

He won the Academy Award for Best Short Animated Film in 2018 for "Dear Basketball," a five-minute film based on a love letter to sports, written in 2015.

In addition to his daughter, Guyana, Bryant has his wife, Vanessa, three other daughters: Natalia, Bianca, and Capri.

Bryant was charged with sexual assault in 2003, by a 19-year-old woman, working in a resort in Colorado State.

Bryant denied this allegation, saying that the two had consensual sex, and then the case fell after the author refused to testify in court.

Bryant later apologized, saying he realized that she "did not and does not view this incident in the same way that he saw it." A subsequent civil suit was settled outside the court.

What were the reactions?

"There are no words to express the pain I feel," said Shaquille O'Neal, who played alongside Bryant on the Lakers between 1996 and 2004.

"I love you and I will miss you," he wrote on the Instagram app, along with a photo of the two men in the uniform of the Lakers.

Deron Williams, who won an Olympic gold alongside Bryant, said he could not find the right words for expression. He described Bryant as "the greatest competitor I've faced and played with."

Former basketball player Tony Parker said he was "heart broken".

US President Donald Trump wrote it "shocking news."

Former US President Barack Obama described Bryant as a "legend on the field," expressing sorrow for his death.

"Rest in peace, myth," wrote Manchester City striker Rahim Sterling, in a tweet accompanied by a black and white picture of the late star.

Pop star Mariah Carey said she is in shock.

Fans gathered at a temporary memorial to Bryant, in front of the Staples Center for Sports and Recreation in Los Angeles, where they placed flowers and basketball to pay tribute to the late star.

Video Kobe Bryant basketball player crash in California