Four feared dead in British helicopter crash; "very foggy" in the area

LONDON (AFP) - Four people are believed to have died in a helicopter crash in the eastern England county of Norfolk on Thursday, according to local police.

Police were called to the accident scene near the town of Beccles at 7.30pm local time (1930 GMT), according to Norfolk Constabulary.

"The helicopter has been confirmed as a civilian aircraft and the four occupants on board are thought to have died in the crash," said a police statement.

The identity of the occupants will be released after next of kin have been informed.

A spokeswoman for East of England Ambulance Service added: "Sadly, it is believed that four people in the helicopter ... died in the crash.

"Ambulance resources have now been stood down from the scene. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have lost their lives tonight."

Three ambulances, two doctors and one rapid response car attended the scene, which has been cordoned off by police.

Local resident Roland Bronk said it was "very foggy" in the area while another wrote on his Twitter page that he couldn't "see my hand in front of my face" due to the weather.

Met Office forecaster confirmed "there has certainly been some fog around south Norfolk". The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it was looking into the incident.

The crash site is 72km from where a US military helicopter came down during a training exercise in January, killing four crew members.