NBA legend and global sporting icon Kobe Bryant died today in a horror helicopter crash in fog aged 41.
The LA Lakers star was travelling in the private aircraft when it came down in Calabasas near LA, California.
HhIt is now understood FIVE people have died in the crash, with nobody on board surviving.
Images from the scene showed smoke rising from a hillside amid foggy conditions.
An investigation into the incident – which happened this morning – is now underway.
According to TMZ, the helicopter went up in a ball of fire after hitting the ground.
Witnesses saw the helicopter in the distress, LA County Fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda told reporters.
It is not known whether the pilot alerted over radio that the aircraft was in trouble, he added.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Sikorsky S-76 crashed under “unknown circumstances.”
It is unclear who the helicopter belonged to or where it originated from and was going to.
L.A. Times reporter Richard Winton reported the mountains were “fogged in.”
“I heard the plane splutter and then a boom,” he tweeted.
The star’s shock death sparked an outpouring of grief from the basketball world.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic tweeting: “NO PLEASE, I’m shaking this can’t be true please.”
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said: “Please no. Please God no. It can’t be true.”
Tristan Thompson added: “I hope this isn’t true man!!! Not Kobe.”