Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant has been killed in a private helicopter crash in Los Angeles.

Police said five people died in the Calabasas crash this morning. The chopper burst into flames as it hit the ground.

Bryant was a father-of-four and his daughter Gigi, 13, was also killed in the crash, TMZ reports.

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi, 13, were killed in the crash.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi, 13, were killed in the crash.

The pair were believed to be travelling to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice session at nearby Thousand Oaks, TMZ said.

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Police confirmed a helicopter crash in Calabasas and say there are five people confirmed dead.

Bryant - one of the biggest names in the sporting world - was among those killed in the crash.

The scene of the crash, with smoke rising from the wreckage.
The scene of the crash, with smoke rising from the wreckage.

Bryant was travelling with four other people in his private helicopter when it crashed, killing everyone on board.

The crash scene in the Calabasas hills.
The crash scene in the Calabasas hills.

TMZ said a fire broke out on board the helicopter, causing the tragic accident.

The crash apparently occurred behind the home of reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian.

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The crash flames sparked a brush fire, making it harder for firefighters and emergency services to get to the site.

Bryant, 41, was one of the most recognisable sport faces on the planet after his stellar 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to reports of the crash near Las Virgenes Rd and Willow Glen St in Calabasas at around 10am Sunday (local time) after a fire broke out.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. It is unclear where the chopper departed from or where it was headed when it went down.

The sporting world is stunned at Kobe Bryant's death.
The sporting world is stunned at Kobe Bryant's death.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar, 41, is a father of four.

Bryant's wife Vanessa was not on board, reports say.

The pair have four daughters: Gianna (known as Gigi), Natalia, Bianca and Capri. Capri is the youngest of the four and was born in June last year.

Bryant's wife Vanessa was not believed to be on the helicopter. Photo / Getty Images
Bryant's wife Vanessa was not believed to be on the helicopter. Photo / Getty Images

Bryant is one of the most famous players to ever step foot on a basketball court. He has scored the fourth-most points of anyone in the league's history, being surpassed just last week by fellow superstar LeBron James.

The 18-time NBA All-Star spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships.

He was the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.

He won five NBA championships with the Lakers and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in two NBA Finals campaigns.

An 18-time All-Star, Bryant was also recognised as the league's MVP in 2008.

He retired in 2016, signing off by dropping 60 points in his final game.

Bryant has been known to use a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter to travel for years - often flying from Newport Beach to the Staples Center for Lakers games.

Bryant at the LA premiere of a movie on January 6 this year. Photo / AP
Bryant at the LA premiere of a movie on January 6 this year. Photo / AP

Kobe also achieved success in the film world, winning an Oscar for his short film, 'Dear Basketball', in 2018.