Services set for Scarsdale family killed in Costa Rica plane crash

Posted: Updated:
SCARSDALE -

Services have been set for the Scarsdale family of five who were among the 12 people killed when a charter aircraft crashed Sunday in Costa Rica.

A family member tells News 12 that services for Bruce and Irene Steinberg,  and their three kids, William, Zachary and Matthew, will be held Sunday at the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale.

The family was on a tourism plane headed for Costa Rica's capital went it went down in a heavily wooded area just 10 minutes into the flight.

At a news conference, Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, said the Nature Air charter flight took off just after noon Sunday from Punta Islita and was headed for the capital of San Jose when it crashed. He says officials continue to investigate what caused the crash, but says that heavy winds earlier that day had forced the plane's pilot to land at another airport. He identified the pilot as Juan Manuel Retana and described him as very experienced. Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said via Twitter that Retana was her cousin.

The Steinbergs were members of the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, and friends say the family traveled internationally often as the elder Steinberg wanted to expose their children to different cultures. William and Zachary were in college, while Matthew was in eighth grade.

Rabbi Jonathan Blake, of the Westchester Reform Temple (WRT) in Scarsdale, sent a letter to the congregation informing members of the tragedy. In a statement on Facebook, Blake writes, in part, "This tragedy hits our community very hard. Bruce, Irene and their children have been devoted members of WRT since 2001, and have also been engaged in the wider Jewish community, through their involvement in organizations including the UJA-Federation of New York, AJC (American Jewish Committee), and Seeds of Peace."

Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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