12 people were killed in a plane crash in a mountainous region in Costa Rica on Sunday. Among the victims were ten US tourists, including a family of five, and a cousin of former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla.

The deadly crash in Costa Rica

The deadly crash in Costa Rica Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

Ten US citizens and two locals were killed on Sunday in a plane crash in Costa Rica, according to the local authorities. The plane crashed in a mountainous region around 230 km west of the capital San José.

The circumstances that lead to the deadly crash remain unclear. Head of Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation said the victims were ten tourists and the aircraft’s two pilots. Former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla said in a post on her Twitter account on Sunday that one of the local victims was her cousin.  Among the US victims were a family of five.  

“For those reaching out to us who have heard about my brother and sister-in -law and my 3 amazing nephews,” wrote a victim’s sister, Tamara Steinberg Jacobson on her Facebook page on Saturday, “we are in utter shock and disbelief right now.” Tamara’s brother Bruce Steinberg, his wife Irene and their three children, Matthew, William and Zachary were killed in the crash.

“We can confirm the death of multiple US citizens in an airplane crash in Costa Rica on December 31, 2017,” a US State Department spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”