BREAKING: Kobe Bryant among five killed in horrific helicopter crash

American basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died after the helicopter he was travelling in crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California on Sunday afternoon, January 26.

The 41-year-old retired athlete was among five people on board when the aircraft reportedly caught fire and spiralled into the rocky hills, according to US media outlet TMZ.

The pilot, as well as the other three occupants, all perished, Los Angeles County police reported.

TMZ further reported that Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years – dating back to when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper,” TMZ wrote.

The late Bryant, also known as the Black Mamba, is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their four daughters Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and newborn Capri.