04/10/2011 17:58 BST | Updated 04/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Helicopter Carrying British Tourists Crashes In New York City River

A helicopter carrying four British passengers crashed in New York City's East River, killing at least one person.

The pilot and three passengers were pulled from the water and were initially reported to be alive but in a serious condition.

The helicopter was reported to have crashed into the river near to 34th Street in Manhattan after taking off from a launch pad on the riverbank.

The Bell 206 helicopter was submerged in the murky water, police spokesman Paul Browne said.

More than ten rescue boats and divers were involved in the rescue mission, the AP reported.

The AP quoted Joy Garnett and her husband who were nearby when they heard the helicopter take off and get into trouble.

"I thought, 'Is that some daredevil move?'" she told the AP. "But it was obviously out of control. The body spun around at least two or three times, and then it went down."

"It didn't make much noise," she said. "It was just a splash and sunk."