Ten U.S. citizens killed in Costa Rica plane crash
January 1, 2018 | 2:33 PM
by Times TV

Costa Rica: A pile of flaming debris is all that's left of the fuselage of a plane carrying 10 U.S. tourists, and its two Costa Rican pilots.

Officials say the plane went down just moments after takeoff in a mountainous area along the country's Pacific coast. Aviation authorities haven't yet determined the cause of the crash, but say strong winds earlier in the day had forced the pilots to alter their itenerary.

The plane was owned by a charter company called Nature Air, and had recently passed a safety inspection. In a statement, Nature Air said it lamented the crash, but gave no clues to its cause.

Officials haven't yet released the names of the victims. But former president Laura Chinchilla said on Twitter that one of the pilots was her cousin, and that he had been killed in the accident. The U.S. State Department confirmed that some of its citizens had been killed, but gave no details.

Investigators say the remains are so badly burned that they won't be able to confirm the identies of the victims until they conduct autopsies. The delay leaves their families to begin the new year in limbo, while they wait for confirmation of the fates of their loved ones.

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