Americans dead in Costa Rica plane crash

Lady Gaga’s from her album Joanne. Courtesy of the artist

A plane crashed in Costa Rica on Sunday killing at least 12 people, majority foreign tourists, the country's security ministry said.

The aircraft, which was carrying 2 pilots from Costa Rica, and 10 passengers, reportedly belongs to local Nature Air airline.

The crash happened near Punta Islita in the Guanacaste province according to Costa Rican officials who posted images of the burning wreckage amid a thicket of trees. It said the plane had taken off nearby.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson confirmed that multiple U.S. citizens died in the crash.

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

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"We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy", the spokesperson said.

It is not yet known what caused the crash.

Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, said at a news conference that the Nature Air pilot, Juan Manuel Retana, was very experienced.

The plane went down in a heavily wooded area.

Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said on Twitter that her cousin was one of the victims killed in the crash.

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