A plane carrying 10 U.S. citizens and two local crewmembers crashed in a wooded area, killing all aboard Sunday, Costa Rica’s government said.
The pilot was identified as Juan Manuel Retana and was described on Twitter by Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, as very experienced. Chinchilla added that Retana was also her cousin.
The Public Safety Ministry posted photographs and video of the crash site showing burning wreckage of the plane in Guanacaste, northwest Costa Rica. Authorities said that so far they had only a list of passengers provided by the airline and were awaiting official confirmation of their identities. At a news conference, Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, said the Nature Air charter flight took off just after noon Sunday from Punta Islita and was headed for the capital of San Jose when it crashed.source
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The same plane had arrived in Punta Islita on Sunday morning from San Jose and was delayed in landing by strong winds, Cubillo said.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends at this difficult time.