Costa Rica plane crash kills 12, including 10 US citizens

The cause of the crash was not yet known, the country's security ministry said


Reuters January 01, 2018
Wreckage in flames after a plane crashed in the mountainous area of Punta Islita, in the province of Guanacaste, in Costa Rica in this still image taken from social media video December 31, 2017. PHOTO: Supplied to Reuters by third party

COSTA RICA: A plane crash in Costa Rica on Sunday killed 10 US citizens and two local pilots, the Costa Rican government said.

The cause of the crash was not yet known, the country's security ministry said.

It took place in the mountainous area of Punta Islita, which is popular with tourists, in the province of Guanacaste, about 230 km west of the capital of San José.

Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica's civil aviation agency, told local media that the deceased included 10 foreign tourists and two Costa Rican pilots for the aircraft, which was operated by local company Nature Air.

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Nature Air could not immediately be reached for comment. Laura Chinchilla, who was president of Costa Rica from 2010 to 2014, said on Twitter that her cousin, one of the crew members, had died in the accident.

"There are no people alive," Security Minister Gustavo Mata
said, adding that autopsies would be needed to confirm the total
number and identities of victims because their remains were
badly burned.

Punta Islita, on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, is popular
among North American and European tourists for its pristine
beaches and lush landscape.

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