New Year’s Eve turned tragic in Costa Rica, as the country’s government has confirmed that a small plane crash killed all twelve people aboard, including two pilots and ten Americans. The New York Times reports that the accident occurred in a mountainous part of the Guanacaste province — specifically, Punta Islita on the country’s Pacific coast — that is well-trafficked by tourists. Costa Rica’s Public Ministry posted the above fiery footage of the plane’s smoking wreckage on Facebook.
CBS News adds that the plane was en route to the Costa Rican capital of San Jose and, earlier in the day, was delayed during a Punta Islita landing (from San Jose) by strong winds. NBC News reports upon the identities of the deceased Americans, which include five members from the same family:
A mother, father and their three children from Scarsdale, New York, were aboard the plane. It’s believed the five were on a sightseeing tour at the time.
Bruce and Irene Steinberg, and their sons, Matthew, William and Zachary, were killed, Bruce Steinberg’s sister confirmed with NBC News on Sunday night.
A cause for the crash (the private aircraft belonged to the Nature Air airline, based in San Jose) has not yet been determined, although CNN reveals that the investigation will not fully begin until Monday, after the victims’ bodies have been recovered.