U.S. citizens, 2 locals killed in Costa Rica plane crash

Plane crashes in Costa Rica killing at least 12 people

A plane carrying 10 USA citizens and two local residents crashed in a wooded area, killing everyone on board Sunday, Costa Rican authorities said Sunday.

The plane crashed just moments after takeoff fron Punta Islita Airport, according to officials and witnesses.

A US State Department official said: "We confirm the deaths of multiple US citizens in an airplane crash in Costa Rica".

Images posted by the country's public security ministry showed blackened wreckage, some in flames, with only part of the tail recognizable.

Ten Americans died when the aircraft came down in a mountainous area near the coastal beach town of Punta Islita, as well as two Costa Rican pilots.

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"We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy", the spokesperson said. "We are in contact with Costa Rican aviation authorities and will continue to monitor the situation".

Cubillo also reportedly described the pilot, Juan Manuel Retana, as an experienced professional.

The reason for the crash is not yet known.

Costa Rican officals have confirmed there were no survivors. They said the plane took a nose dive and crashed within minutes after takeoff. The other two killed are local crewmembers.

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