Five Jewish Americans from one family were among 10 Americans killed on Sunday in a plane crash in Costa Rica, Fox News reported, citing investigators and local media.
A small plane carrying 10 American tourists and two local crew members crashed and burst into flames in a wooded area in in Guanacaste, northwest Costa Rica, the government said.
Five of the victims were identified as Americans Bruce, Irene, Matthew, William and Zachary Steinberg, Diario Las Americas reported.
Other victims were identified as Mitchell, Leslie and Hannah Weiss, Amanda Geissler and Gene Szeto.
Pilots Emma Ramos and Juan Manuel Retana were killed in the crash as well.
The plane had reportedly taken off from a local runway and was heading to the Juan Santamaria International Airport. The Nature Air aircraft had problems shortly after takeoff, crashed in the mountains and immediately caught fire, according to witnesses.
“The government of Costa Rica deeply regrets the death of 10 American passengers and two Costa Rican pilots,” President Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera said in a statement quoted by The New York Daily News.
Video posted by the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security shows the plane downed in a wooded area and engulfed in flames.
The State Department confirmed the deaths in a statement to the Daily News Sunday evening.
“We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy. We are in contact with Costa Rican aviation authorities and will continue to monitor the situation,” a spokesperson said.
“The protection of U.S. citizens overseas is one of the highest priorities for the State Department. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance to affected U.S. citizens,” the spokesperson added.
Nature Air did not respond to phone and email messages, noted Fox News.