Monday, 1 January 2018

12 killed after sightseeing plane crashes in Costa Rica mountains

The plane that crashed in a wooded area in Costa Rica on Sunday was transporting 10 US citizens and two local crewmembers, Costa Rica's government has confirmed.

At a news conference, Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, said the Nature Air charter flight took off just after noon Sunday from Punta Islita and was headed for the capital of San Jose when it crashed.

Cubillo said the same plane had arrived in Punta Islita on Sunday morning from San Jose and was delayed in landing by strong winds. The plane had passed a safety inspection about a month ago and was authorized to fly, Cubillo added.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

He said the tourists traveling in the aircraft were staying in a nearby hotel

Officials said the plane was heading to the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica, when it crashed around 12.16pm local time.

It crashed in the mountainous area of Punta Islita, which is popular with tourists, in the province of Guanacaste, about 140 miles west of the capital of San Jose.

Photos of the crash site, showed flaming wreckage strewn across the terrain.

The private plane, that belonged to Nature Air, was a single-propellor Cessna 208 Caravan officials said.

Nature Air said in a statement that it lamented the accident, without explaining the cause.

The flight was part of a special charter service for 20 people, relying on two planes. The first plane, carrying 10 passengers, arrived safely in San Jose at 11.40am. The second, with 10 passengers and two pilots, departed 20 minutes later.

'Regrettably this plane crashed a few minutes after taking off,' Nature Air said.

According to Nature Air's website, the airline is based in San José.

It is the largest private charter operator in Central America and became the world's first carbon neutral airline in 2004.

Monday 1 January 2018


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