UPDATED: 10 U.S. citizens, two Costa Rican pilots killed in plane crash

A small passenger plane crashed in Costa Rica on Sunday killing all 12 people on board,  most of whom were U.S. tourists.

President Luis Guillermo Solís posted a brief Facebook statement at approximately 5 pm confirming that the 10 foreign tourists were U.S. citizens, and the other two victims were Costa Rican pilots.

He said the Nature Air plane, license number TI-BEI, crashed at noon today in Nandayure, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

“The government is committed to doing whatever is necessary to help the victims’ families with whatever they need at this difficult time,” he said. “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.

First thing tomorrow the investigation into the causes of the accident will begin, the president indicated.

The aircraft, a single-propeller Cessna 208 Caravan, went down in a mountainous area near the Pacific coastal beach town of Punta Islita in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, Public Security Ministery spokesman Carlos Hidalgo indicated via Facebook.

“It is a private plane with 10 foreign passengers and two local crew members,” a separate statement from the Public Security Ministry said.

Hidalgo published images of the crash site, showing flaming wreckage strewn across the terrain.

The U.S. Embassy indicated it is monitoring the situation closely.

The daily La Nación reported that it appears five of the names on the flight list were similar, suggesting that a family of five may have been on board.

Please stay tuned as we continue to report on this developing story.