KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- A helicopter has crashed into a river in a Malaysian state on Borneo island, leaving three people missing.

A Malaysian fire department official says the chopper with four people on board went down in Sarawak state early Friday. The official, who declined to be named because he does not have the authority to speak to the media, says the German pilot was rescued by local fishermen.

Police could not be reached immediately for comment.

The Star newspaper said on its website that the pilot, 35-year-old Rko Steger, swam for four hours before he was rescued. It said a rescue team was dispatched to the area to find the three missing passengers, who were believed to be engineers.

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