Four passengers were killed after a car plunged into a waterway linked to New York City's East River late on Friday evening, police and fire officials said.

Rescue divers pulled four occupants - two men and two women - alive from the vehicle submerged in Steinway Creek but they died on arrival at area hospitals, New York Police Department spokesman Adam Navarro said.

The fifth occupant, a 20-year-old man who was the driver, escaped the car on his own with lesser injuries.

The incident, whose cause was unknown, occurred near a dead-end street in an industrial district of the New York borough of Queens at about 10:30 p.m, fire department spokesman Michael Parrella said.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger