Plane crashes in Costa Rica killing at least 12 people

Plane crashes in Costa Rica killing at least 12 people

The plane was carrying five other USA citizens and two local crewmembers when it crashed in a wooded area, killing everyone on board, authorities said.

The ministry released photographs of the crash site, showing the burning wreckage of the plane.

In photos from the scene, the tail and at least one wing of the plane are generally intact.

It said the plane had taken off nearby.

A US State Department official said: "We confirm the deaths of multiple US citizens in an airplane crash in Costa Rica". "We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy".

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The US State Department said it was working with Costa Rican authorities to determine if the plane carried US citizens.

The light aircraft went down in the mountains of Guanacaste, northwest Costa Rica, with 10 foreigners and two crew members on board.

Authorities said they were focusing on recovering the victims' bodies and would begin an investigation into the cause of the crash first thing Monday.

Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, said at a news conference that the Nature Air pilot, Juan Manuel Retana, was very experienced.

"There are no survivors", the daily La Nacion said, citing Security Minister Gustavo Mata. They said within minutes after takeoff the plane took a nose dive and crashed.

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