10 Americans Among 12 Killed in Costa Rica Plane Crash

This photo released by Costa Rica's Public Safety Ministry shows people standing at the site of a plane crash near in Punta Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. A government statement says there were 10 foreigners and two Costa Rican crew members aboard the plane belonging to Nature …
Costa Rica's Public Safety Ministry via AP

A single-engine plane that crashed in Costa Rica on Sunday killed 12 people, including 10 Americans, officials said.

President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera tweeted that the plane’s two Costa Rican co-pilots also died in the crash, adding that there were no survivors.

The plane, which belonged to the Costa Rican airline Nature Air, carried 10 passengers and two crew members.

One of the pilots killed in the crash had been related to former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, who tweeted that one of the pilots who died was her cousin.

Multiple reports say the victims were from Scarsdale, New York, in Westchester County.

Civil aviation authorities say the aircraft took off from the Punta Islita Airport at 12:10 p.m. Sunday, headed towards San Jose when officials got word of a crash that took place at 12:20 p.m., Teletica reported.

Witnesses say the Nature Air aircraft crashed in the mountains and burst into flames. Because the plane went down in a remote area, rescue workers could not respond to the crash in time.

Teletica reports that the plane’s pilots had been forced to land at another airport due to heavy winds earlier, causing them to delay their journey to Punta Islita.

It is unclear what caused the Sunday afternoon crash, which occurred in the Nandayure region of Guanacaste province.

Authorities said they would launch a full-scale investigation into the crash Monday after 12 p.m.

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