The crash comes just a week after another DHL plane crashed in Germany, killing two people. The cargo plane was carrying a shipment of chemicals and medical supplies, said Osvaldo Sanchez, head of Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Authority. “At this time we don’t know what caused the accident,” Sanchez said. “We are waiting for an investigation.”
The flight path of the aircraft before it came to rest. (Source: Costa Rican Civil Aviation Authority) The crash occurred at about 10 am local time on Thursday morning as the aircraft was taking off from Juan Santa Maria airport in northwestern San Jose province, authorities said. A photo taken by witnesses shows parts of the airplane scattered across a grassy area next to the runway, with one section resting on an embankment on one side of the runway and another on its side nearby.
(Source: Costa Rican Civil Aviation Authority) The area where the wreckage was found is about 70 kilometres (43 miles) northwest of the capital, San Jose. The airport is about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border.
The Civil Aviation Authority said there were no immediate reports of injuries among the crew members. “We are following up on all possible causes,” Sanchez said. “This is a very serious accident and we are still investigating.”
A DHL spokesman said in a statement that “we are aware of an accident involving one of our aircraft” but offered no further details.