PHOTO: 12 killed in Costa Rica plane crash.Image: Facebook
NEW YORK – A family of five from Scarsdale and a Columbia University student were killed on Sunday when a small plane crashed in Costa Rica, leaving at least 10 American tourists and two pilots dead.
No one survived when the single-engine Cessna smashed into a mountainous region in the Guancaste province while en route to the capital city of San José, officials said.
The victims included New Yorkers Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their sons Matthew, 13, William, 18, and Zachary, 19.
“Their children would have changed the world,” family friend Robin Shainberg told The Post.
“They were just the most lovely family — the most giving, caring, wonderful friends to have.”
Bruce Steinberg, 50, was a graduate of Columbia Business School, and Irene Steinberg, 51, was active with the UJA-Federation of New York. In 2015, she chaired the annual campaign kickoff of the organization’s Scarsdale Women’s Philanthropy group.
Bruce Steinberg’s sister mourned the loss her brother, sister-in-law and “3 amazing nephews” in a Facebook post on Sunday night.
“We are in utter shock and disbelief right now,” Tamara Steinberg Jacobson wrote, thanking those who were reaching out to her and her devastated parents.
Susan Adler, a Scarsdale neighbor, called it “a very sad situation . . . unbelievable.”
Senior Rabbi Jonathan Blake of the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale told The Post that the family’s relatives, and the community, were “deeply hurting.”
“All the Steinbergs will be remembered by their Scarsdale and the temple community as among the most devoted to the welfare of the Jewish community and the beauty of the Jewish tradition,” Blake said.
“They will be deeply missed.”
Another US family that perished in the crash was identified as Mitchell and Leslie Weiss — both doctors from Florida — and their daughter, Hannah, a 19-year-old student at Columbia University.
Mitchell, 52, was a radiology specialist in Clearwater who went to medical school in Philadelphia. Leslie, 50, was a pediatrician who practiced in Tampa.
The other Americans killed were Amanda Rae Geissler and Gene Wing Szeto. Their hometowns were not immediately available.
The plane’s crew members were identified as Juan Manuel Retana and Emma Ramos Calderon.
Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, who held office from 2010 to 2014, tweeted that Retana was her cousin.
“Our beloved cousin dies as part of the crew of the plane crash in Guanacaste,” she wrote. “Strength to your children and siblings and peace to your remains. You will remain in our dear heart #JuanManuelRetana.”
Video on crhoy.com (Costa Rica Today) shows burning wreckage next to what appears to be the tail section of the plane.
Security Minister Gustavo Mata said autopsies would have to be performed to confirm all the identities.
The Aviation Safety Network Web site said the plane was a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan. It was owned and operated by Nature Air, which didn’t respond to requests for comment.
New York Post