At least 12 die in plane crash in Costa Rica

12 killed in fiery plane crash in Costa Rica

Punta Islita, on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, is popular among North American and European tourists for its pristine beaches and lush landscape.

A plane carrying 10 USA citizens and two local crewmembers crashed in a wooded area, killing all aboard Sunday, Costa Rica's government said.

The country's Ministry of Public Security said in a statement that the aircraft went down in Guanacaste, a province in the country's northwestern corner popular with global tourists.

Costa Rican authorities say those who died in the plane crash include 10 US citizens and two local residents.

The U.S. State Department confirmed that "multiple U.S. citizens" died in the crash.

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It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, which occurred early Sunday afternoon in Nandayure, a region in Costa Rica's Guanacaste province. "We are in contact with Costa Rican aviation authorities and will continue to monitor the situation", the spokesperson said in a statement to CBS News.

Authorities said although they have the names of the passengers form flight manifest, they are waiting to officially confirm the identities of the victims, The Associated Press reported.

Sunday's statement says the plane belongs to Nature Air and had taken off nearby.

The plane went down in a heavily wooded area. The other two killed are local crewmembers.

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