SAN JOSÉ: Ten Americans flying from a vacation hotspot on Costa Rica’s tropical Pacific coast died Sunday when the small plane they had just boarded crashed and burst into flames shortly after take-off, officials in the country said, reports AFP.
A list of the passengers given by local media showed five shared the same last name, suggesting they were related.“The government of Costa Rica profoundly regrets the deaths of 10 US passengers and two Costa Rican pilots in the air accident,” which occurred in the country’s northwestern Guanacaste region, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis said in a statement posted to social media.
A US State Department official said: “We confirm the deaths of multiple US citizens in an airplane crash in Costa Rica,” adding that assistance was being provided to the affected Americans.
Costa Rican officials said the plane that came down belonged to Nature Air, a domestic airline that services routes across the country and also provides aircraft for charter.
Guanacaste is a popular vacation destination, especially this time of year, when its pristine beaches and jungle provide a respite for tourists fleeing the northern hemisphere’s winter.
Americans are by far the biggest group of tourists visiting Costa Rica.
The plane that crashed was a single-engine turboprop Cessna 208 Caravan. Its flaming debris was scattered across a wooded mountain close to the beach town of Punta Islita.