Twelve dead, including 10 Americans, after plane crashes in Costa Rica
A dozen people were killed when a small plane crashed in northwest Costa Rica Sunday afternoon.
Among the dead were 10 American passengers, including five family members.
The victims were identified as Irene and Bruce Steinberg and their children Matthew, William and Zachary, from Scarsdale, New York.
Mitchell, Leslie and Hanna Weiss, Amanda Geissler and Gene Szeto were also killed in the crash.
“The government of Costa Rica deeply regrets the death of 10 American passengers and two Costa Rican pilots,” President Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera said in a statement.
Video posted by the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security shows the plane downed in a wooded area and engulfed in flames.
The State Department confirmed the deaths in a statement to the Daily News Sunday evening.
“We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy. We are in contact with Costa Rican aviation authorities and will continue to monitor the situation,” a spokesperson said.
“The protection of U.S. citizens overseas is one of the highest priorities for the State Department. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance to affected U.S. citizens.”
The flight went down near Punta Islita in the Guanacaste province.
The cause of the crash has not yet been identified.
Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla announced on Twitter that one of the victims was her cousin, although it’s unclear of the identity.