Two Swiss killed in plane crash in Costa Rica

Two Swiss women were among 10 people killed in a plane crash in Costa Rica, according to the airline concerned. The plane went down on Saturday on the Arenal volcano, 100 kilometres north of the capital, San Jose.

This content was published on August 28, 2000 - 08:50

The Swiss women, who were identified as Silvia Rhissiner and Catherine Shoep, were travelling with six other foreign tourists and two Costa Rican pilots, when their aircraft crashed into the volcano.

Evelyn Saldana, an official from National Aerial Services, or Sansa, which operated the flight, said the bodies were found on Sunday.

The Costa Rican authorities said recovery of the bodies had been postponed until Monday because of bad weather.

The 15-seater single engine Cessna plane was en route from La Fortuna, where the volcano is located, to Tamarindo, a beach town on the Pacific coast.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane on Saturday afternoon. A search mission, organised by the Red Cross, was launched soon afterwards. Red Cross spokesman, Jorge Jimenez, said the destroyed plane was later spotted 100 metres beneath the volcano's crater.

About 200 rescue workers were sent to the area, reaching the crash site on Sunday. Jimenez said the rescue mission was held up because the area was littered with hot lava and rocks from an eruption of the volcano last Wednesday.

swissinfo with agencies

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