Costa Rica Plane Crash
10 Americans and two Costa Rican pilots were killed in a plane crash in the mountains of Costa Rica on Sunday. Twitter

Ten Americans and two Costa Rican pilots were killed in a plane crash in the mountains of Costa Rica on Sunday.

A single-propeller Cessna 208, operated by Nature Air, a regional airline in Costa Rica, crashed in the mountainous area of Punta Islita, in the province of Guanacaste, about 140 miles west of the capital of San José. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

“There are no people alive,” Costa Rican Security Minister Gustavo Mata said. The authorities are awaiting the coroner’s report on the burnt victims before officially releasing their names. Nine out of the 10 Americans were identified by various media reports.

A Jewish family of five were killed in the accident, according to Diario Las Americos. Bruce Steinberg, 50, his wife Irene, 51, and their 3 sons Matthew, William and Zachary Steinberg, were onboard the aircraft when it crashed. They were residents of Scarsdale, New York.

"For those reaching out to us who have heard about my brother and sister-in-law and my 3 amazing nephews. We are in utter shock and disbelief right now . Those reaching out to my Mom and Dad it is very special thank you," Bruce Steinberg’s sister, Tamara Steinberg Jacobson, wrote on Facebook.

Other casualties included Leslie Levin Weiss, 50, and her husband Mitchell Weiss, 52, who lived in Belleair, Florida, Philly reported. Public records showed the couple was licensed as practicing physicians affiliated with local hospitals.

Hannah Mae Weiss, 19, and Ari Moses Weiss, 16, were also listed among the names of Americans who lost their lives in the tragedy. It is not immediately clear if Hannah and Ari are related to Leslie and Mitchell. Hannah is believed to be a Florida resident.

Juan Manuel Retana, one of the pilots who were killed in the crash, was the cousin of former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla. She took to Twitter on New Year’s Eve to convey the news of her cousin’s death.

“A fatality has intruded into our family celebrations,” Chinchilla wrote. “Our beloved cousin has died as part of the crew of the burning plane in Guanacaste. Strength to his children and siblings, and peace to his remains. You will remain in our hearts, beloved #JuanManuelRetana.”

According to Diario Extra, Retana had more than 10 years of piloting experience under his belt. Retana’s co-pilot was Emma Ramos Calderon, who was also killed in the crash.

Following the tragic incident, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo posted a brief statement on Facebook, assuring people the authorities were doing everything in their power to successfully handle the situation.

“The government is committed to doing whatever is necessary to help the victims’ families with whatever they need at this difficult time,” he said, the Tico Times reported. “All emergency services were activated from the moment the first alert was received at 12:13 pm. The authorities are concentrating on the process of recovering the bodies, which will be transported to the forensic medicine facility in San Joaquín de Flores (North of San José).”

The Nature Air chartered flight had taken off from Punta Islita Airport, Costa Rica, and was headed for the capital of San Jose, when the incident occurred midway, Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, confirmed.

A video released by the Costa Rican Public Security Ministry showed the aftermath of the crash, with black smoke bellowing from the wreckage of the plane.