10 Americans dead  in Costa Rica plane crash

This photo released by Costa Rica's Civil Aviation press office shows the site of a plane crash in Punta Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. A government statement says there were 10 foreigners and two Costa Rican crew members aboard the plane belonging to Nature Air, which had taken off nearby. (Costa Rica's Civil Aviation press office via AP)
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ALL 10 PASSENGERS who died along with the two pilots on a plane that crashed and was set on fire in Costa Rica on Sunday, December 31 were American Citizens says the US State Department.

AP reported that a couple and their three children from  Scarsdale, a suburb of New York were among the dead. The pilots were Costa Rican, one a cousin of the former president.

Strong winds were recorded in the area when the  Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft, owned by local airline local Nature Air crashed in a wooded area and was set on fire with the impact, according to rescuers and area residents.

Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency said the pilots had tried to land in the Punta Islita locality earlier on Sunday to look for passengers, but they had to retire due to “gusts of wind”.

The agency said that the plane had up-to-date certifications and had been inspected one month before the accident.

Police and firefighters arrived about 25 minutes after the plane crashed, shortly after noon.

The plane crashed to the ground minutes after having taken off from a small runway in

Punta Islita, a beach town in Guanacaste.

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