A representative for Bryant has confirmed that his second eldest daughter, Gianna, also died in the crash. According to TMZ, the father and daughter was taking a helicopter to Bryant's Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for Gianna's basketball practice.

CNN and ESPN said Bryant, 41, was on the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter.

The county Sheriff's Department said all five people aboard were killed and that the investigation was continuing. Firefighters doused a quarter-acre brush fire, said fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda.

"The wreckage is still pretty hot up there," Imbrenda. "We still have some fire activity on the hill."

The crash took place in Calabasas, a city of about 25,000 people in the Santa Monica Mountains about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Art Marrujo, a dispatch supervisor with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said firefighters quickly doused the blaze.

Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years and won five NBA championships.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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