Los Angeles: Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas of southern California on Sunday.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas,” the City of Calabasas confirmed on its official Twitter account, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend, five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star died at the age of 41.
The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10 a.m. Nobody on the ground was hurt, the city tweeted.
At a press briefing Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that nine people were aboard the crashed helicopter – a pilot and eight passengers.
The Sheriff did not identify anyone on the flight, saying it was entirely “inappropriate” to do so at this time until the coroner made the identification to the next of kin.
TMZ first broke the tragic news, saying Bryant was travelling with at least three other people in his private helicopter when it went down.
According to a report, Bryant’s daughter Gianna Bryant, 13, was also on board and died. Bryant was on his way to a travel basketball game with his daughter when the helicopter crashed. Those aboard the helicopter also included another player and parent.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the helicopter crash, the FAA said in a statement.
“A S-76 helicopter crashed this morning under unknown circumstances near Calabasas, Calif. Local authorities say that five people were on board. Please check with local authorities for more information on the condition of the occupants,” the FAA said in its statement.
“Kobe Bryant was a giant who inspired, amazed, and thrilled people everywhere with his incomparable skill on the court – and awed us with his intellect and humility as a father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted.
“He will live forever in the heart of Los Angeles, and will be remembered through the ages as one of our greatest heroes. This is a moment that leaves us struggling to find words that express the magnitude of shock and sorrow we are all feeling right now, and I am keeping Kobe’s entire family in my prayers at this time of unimaginable grief,” Garcetti said.
The Grammy Awards are set to be held later Sunday at Staples Center, where Bryant played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers. During the pre-telecast for the Grammy Awards, a moment of silence was held for Bryant.
NBA athletes, officials and fans mourned the loss of Bryant, who was considered one of basketball’s greatest players of all time.
On Saturday night, Bryant tweeted his congratulations to LeBron James after he surpassed Bryant on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene near Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street at around 10 a.m., the department tweeted. Flames that erupted in the crash have been extinguished.
Pacers shine for India on Day 2 of warm-up game
Hamilton: Indian pacers came out with a remarkable performance on second day of the practice game against New Zealand XI being played at the Seddon Park.
On Saturday, the four Indian pacers — Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini — all bowled on immaculate line and lengths and bundled out New Zealand XI for 235.
While Shami was pick of the Indian bowlers as he picked up 3 for 17, Bumrah, Umesh and Saini picked two-two wickets each. Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin scalped the remaining one wicket.
For New Zealand XI, Henry Cooper top scored with 40 while Rachin Ravindra and captain Daryl Mitchell contributed with 34 and 32 respectively.
With a lead of 28, Indian openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal then came out all guns blazing in the second innings and accumulated 59 runs in the seven overs they played before Stumps.
While Shaw scored 35* off the 25 balls he faced (5 fours and a six), Agarwal too smashed 23 runs off 17 balls (4 fours and a six), swelling India’s lead to 89.
In their first innings, India had been bundled out for 263 riding on Hanuma Vihari’s 101 and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 93.
Brief Scores: India 263 all out and 59/0 (Prithvi Shaw 35*, Mayank Agarwal 23*); New Zealand 235 all out (Henry Cooper 40, Mohammed Shami 3/17