12 killed in Costa Rica plane crash

This photo released by Costa Rica's Public Safety Ministry shows people standing at the site of a plane crash near in Punta Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. A government statement says there were 10 foreigners and two Costa Rican crew members aboard the plane belonging to Nature Air, which had taken off nearby. (Costa Rica's Public Safety Ministry via AP)

This photo released by Costa Rica’s Public Safety Ministry shows people standing at the site of a plane crash near in Punta Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. A government statement says there were 10 foreigners and two Costa Rican crew members aboard the plane belonging to Nature Air, which had taken off nearby. (Costa Rica’s Public Safety Ministry via AP)

(CNN) — Ten US citizens were among the victims of a small plane crash in northwest Costa Rica Sunday afternoon, Costa Rica’s President said. “The government of Costa Rica deeply regrets the death of 10 American passengers and two Costa Rican pilots,” President Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera said in a statement posted on social media. An investigation into the cause of the crash will begin first thing Monday, Solis said. Everyone on board the aircraft was killed.

A plane crash in northwest Costa Rica on Sunday killed all 12 people aboard, officials said.

Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security posted several images of the wreckage on its official Facebook page, showing the plane engulfed in flames in a wooded area, with smoke billowing from charred rubble.

The private aircraft was carrying 10 foreign passengers and two Costa Rican crew members, the ministry said.

The crash occurred near Punta Islita, in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. Authorities said they were traveling to the area to recover the victims’ bodies.

One of the victims was the cousin of Costa Rican ex-President Laura Chinchilla, the former leader said on her Twitter account.