10 Americans killed when plane crashes and burns in Costa Rica

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SAN JOSÉ: Ten Americans flying from a vacation hotspot on Costa Rica’s tropical Pacific coast died on Sunday when the small plane they had just boarded crashed and burst into flames shortly after take-off, officials in the country said. Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion identified the passengers as Thibault Astruc, Amanda Geissler, Charles Palmer, Bruce Steinberg, Irene Steinberg, Matthew Steinberg, William Steinberg, Zachary Steinberg, Leslie Weiss and Sherry Wuu. The two pilots were identified as Juan Manuel Retana Chinchilla and Emma Ramos. The newspaper reported the plane – a single-engine turboprop Cessna 208 Caravan— had taken off from the capital San Jose at 11:37 a.m. (1737 GMT) for the small sealed airstrip in the beach town of Punta Islita, where the tourists boarded and crashed shortly in a wooded mountain close to the beach. The cause of the crash was not known. Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis said in a statement that his government “gives its commitment to do everything necessary to work with the relatives of the victims to give them what they need in this difficult moment.” Meanwhile, former Costa Rican president Laura Chincilla—Solis’ predecessor—said on Twitter that Retana, 52, was her cousin.

AFP

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