A plane carrying 10 US citizens and two local crew members crashed in a wooded area Sunday, killing all aboard, Costa Rica's government says. The Public Safety Ministry posted photographs and video of the crash site showing burning wreckage of the plane in Guanacaste, in northwest Costa Rica. Authorities said Sunday evening that so far they had only a list of passengers provided by the airline and were awaiting official confirmation of their identities. A family in the suburbs of New York City said five of the dead Americans were relatives on vacation, the AP reports. They identified them as Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their sons Matthew, William, and Zachary, all of Scarsdale.
"We are in utter shock and disbelief right now," Bruce Steinberg's sister, Tamara Steinberg Jacobson, wrote on Facebook. Rabbi Jonathan Blake of the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale tells the AP that the Steinbergs were involved in philanthropy and local Jewish groups. "This tragedy hits our community very hard," he says. Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, says the Nature Air charter flight took off just after noon Sunday from Punta Islita and was headed for the capital, San Jose, when it crashed. Cubillo says the cause of the crash is under investigation. The same plane had arrived in Punta Islita on Sunday morning from San Jose and was delayed in landing by strong winds, Cubillo says.