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New Info, ID Of Pilot Released After Crash That Killed Westchester Family

The wreckage of the plane, a single-propeller Cessna 208 Caravan, which crashed shortly after takeoff in Costa Rica. Photo Credit: Costa Rica Ministry of Public Security
Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their sons, Matthew, William and Zachary of Scarsdale Photo Credit: Facebook

New information, including the identity of the pilot, has emerged after a charter plane crash that claimed the lives of 12, including all five members of a Westchester family, on Sunday afternoon in northwestern Costa Rica.

The five victims from the Scarsdale family were 50-year-old Bruce Steinberg, 51-year-old Irene Steinberg and their teenage sons, Matthew, William and Zachary.

The five other passengers killed were also American citizens. Their names have not yet been released by the State Department.

The plane, a single-propeller Cessna 208 Caravan, crashed around 12:15 p.m. in Guanacaste moments after takeoff from Punta Islita Airport. The private aircraft belonged to Nature Air airline. Conditions at the time of the departure were described as windy. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Juan Manuel Retana was identified as the pilot. Laura Chinchilla, the president of Costa Rica from 2010 to 2014, said on Twitter that Retana was her cousin. The other crew member, whose name has not been released, was also a Costa Rican citizen.

"We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy," the State Department said in a statement. "We are in contact with Costa Rican aviation authorities and will continue to monitor the situation."

Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera said  "the government vows to do everything necessary to help the victims' family members in whatever they need in this difficult moment and sends them the solidarity of all the Costa Rican people."

Bruce Steinberg and his wife were active with the UJA-Federation of New York. Irene Steinberg chaired the annual campaign kickoff of the organization’s Scarsdale Women’s Philanthropy group in 2015.

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