The bodies of five Italian tourists killed when a small plane crashed into their tourist helicopter were flown to Italy on Wednesday.

The five Italians were victims when the airplane and helicopter collided in over the Hudson River in New York on Saturday.

A private Roman Catholic prayer service for the victims at Campbell's Funeral Home in Manhattan attended by family and friends before the bodies were taken to JFK airport to be flown to Milan on Alitalia airlines according to reports from the Associated Press.

The five tourists lived near the city in northern Italy. They included a father and his teenage son, and another family of three - a husband and wife and their teenage son.

The five Italians were among nine people who died in the collision Saturday between a tourist helicopter and a small plane.