The ill-fated small plane that crashed in a wooded area in Costa Rica caused the death of 12 people including 10 U.S. citizens and 2 Costa Rican pilots. Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera has issued the confirmation of the American casualties in a statement he posted on social media. There were no survivors in the crash.
Authorities have yet to release, however, the identities of the casualties pending further official investigations and said that so far they only had a list of passengers provided by the airline.
The Public Safety Ministry shared photographs and video of the crash site showing the plane’s burning wreckage found in Guanacaste, northwest Costa Rica.
Director of Costa Rica Civil aviation Enio Cubillo said the Nature Air charter flight took off on Sunday afternoon from Punta Islita and was headed for the capital of San Jose when it crashed. Cubillo said that as of now, the cause of the crash is still being probed.
A family in the suburbs of New York City has come forward to claim that five of the dead Americans were their relatives on vacation. The family identified the crash victims as Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their sons Matthew, William, and Zachary, all of Scarsdale.
Bruce’s sister expressed on Facebook “utter shock and disbelief” on what happened to her brother and his wife. She also confirmed the deaths to media.
The Steinbergs were also described as involved in philanthropy and local Jewish groups.
The authorities are now focused on recovering the victims’ bodies and would start the investigation into the cause of the crash on Monday.
The small aircraft, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was part of Nature Air’s fleer. While President Solis Rivera has expressed his condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter, airline officials have yet to issue a statement on the crash.