A family with roots in Potomac, Md., was among 12 people killed Sunday afternoon in a plane crash in Costa Rica.
Irene and Bruce Steinberg, of Scarsdale, N.Y., were on vacation with their three sons when a single-engine Cessna they chartered went down in the Guanacaste region along the Pacific Coast. A family from Florida and two Costa Rican crew members were also killed in the crash.
Irene Ginsberg Steinberg, 51, grew up in Potomac and attended Winston Churchill High School. Her younger brother, Robert Ginsberg, lives in Virginia. Her parents, Marjorie and Allen Ginsberg, still live in suburban Maryland, said Tamara Steinberg Jacobson, Bruce's sister. Allen Ginsberg is a retired gastroenterologist who practiced for more than four decades in the Washington area.
Bruce Steinberg attended Columbia Business School and worked in investment banking; Irene Steinberg graduated from George Washington University and then studied social work at New York University, where she later taught classes, Jacobson said.
The couple met in their early 20s, she said. They spent most of their married life in Scarsdale, where they raised their three sons. Matthew, the youngest, was in eighth grade. William was in his first year at the University of Pennsylvania, and Zachary, the eldest, was a second-year student at Johns Hopkins University.
"This tragedy hits our community very hard," Rabbi Jonathan Blake from the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale wrote in a Facebook post.
Blake said the family were "devoted members" of the temple and also active in Jewish organizations, including the UJA-Federation of New York and Seeds of Peace, a leadership-training program for people from conflict areas.
Jacobson said the family was "very close" and loved to travel together. They previously had visited Singapore, China, Israel and central Europe.
Bruce Steinberg had recently turned 50, and his wife had surprised him with a party complete with a Bruce Springsteen cover band.
They continued their celebration in Miami this December, where they met up with extended family to celebrate the 80th birthday of Irwin Steinberg, Bruce Steinberg's father, as well as their youngest son's 14th birthday.
From there, the family of five flew to Costa Rica. At the end of the week, they boarded the plane, which was operated by Nature Air, to head back to San Jose, the capital.
The plane crashed not far from the Punta Islita airport where they boarded. Photographs and video of the crash site, posted on Facebook by Costa Rica's Ministry of Public Security, show the still-burning wreckage of the plane surrounded by trees. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera posted on Facebook on Sunday evening: "The government of Costa Rica deeply regrets the death of 10 American passengers and two Costa Rican pilots in the aircraft crash."
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the capital of Costa Rica.