SAN JOSE – A woman traveling in a small plane that crashed Tuesday into a river in San Jose died from cardiac arrest while being rescued, Costa Rican authorities said.
The Fire Department confirmed the death of Maria Elena Umaña, about 40 years old, saying that she was one of six occupants of a small plane that plunged into the Torres River in the western part of the capital.
The other five people on board the plane – all men – were injured but are in stable condition and were transported to nearby medical centers via helicopter.
Authorities said that on board the plane were Costa Rican pilot Cristian Mendez and five passengers, all evidently tourists: Americans Randall Lindler and Keith Putbreser, and Costa Ricans Esteban Cubero, Alejandro Cardona and Umaña.
The accident occurred at 6:30 am in the community of Pavas, near the Tobias Bolaños Airport, where the plane had taken off a few minutes before en route to the northern coastal province of Guanacaste.
The Cessna single-engine plane belonged to the local Aerobell airline and has a maximum capacity of six, including the pilot.
The Red Cross, firefighters and police were dispatched to the crash site and had to use special equipment to rescue the plane’s occupants, since the wreckage was located in a canyon where access was difficult.