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Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant and DAUGHTER GIGI, 13, DIE IN HELICOPTER CRASH

Kobe Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and Oscar winner

US basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna are among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.

Bryant, 41, was travelling in a private helicopter when it came down and burst into flames.

The LA county sheriff said there were no survivors. Early reports had suggested five people were on board.

Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, was widely considered one of the greatest players in the game's history.

Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death.

"Please no. Please god no. It can't be true," basketball player Kevin Love wrote on Twitter.

The NBA issued a statement saying it was "devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna" aged 13.

"For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning," it said.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the helicopter manifest indicated that nine people were on board when it crashed, raising the number from five in earlier statements by officials.

In a statement, the City of Calabasas said it heard the news "with great sadness".

"The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt," it added.

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My view: This is absolutely heartbreaking, awful, so sad.

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