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10 Americans killed in fiery plane crash in Costa Rica

December 31, 2017

A private plane with 10 U.S. passengers and two crew members died after their plane crashed in Costa Rica on Sunday, officials said.

Costa Rica’s president, Luis Guillermo Solís, said an investigation would begin Monday into what caused the aircraft to go down shortly after 12 p.m (1 p.m. ET) in Guanacaste, a province in the country’s northwestern corner popular with international tourists.

Guillermo Solís didn’t identify the victims. He said the plane belonged to a Costa Rican airline, Nature Air.

In a brief interview with NBC News, Tamara Jacobson said that a brother, Bruce Steinberg, and four other family members were among the dead: Irene, Matthew, William and Zachary, Jacobson said.

“They were the most amazing family,” Jacobson said, adding that the family recently celebrated the birthdays of three generations of relatives in Florida.

Former President Laura Chinchilla wrote on Twitter that Juan Manuel Retana, her cousin, was among the dead.

“You will remain in our beloved heart,” she said.

Video posted by the Public Security Ministry showed scattered heaps of debris and a burning pile of rubble in the woods.

Image: Costa Rica plane crashImage: Costa Rica plane crash
The scene of a plane crash Sunday in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.Costa Rican Public Security Ministry