Ex-CIA chief hurt in plane crash
Former director's wife, S.F. couple, Spaniard die in Costa Rica accident
San Jose Mercury News, January 17, 2000, p. 4A
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) Former CIA director Adm. Stansfield Turner was among 17 people injured in a weekend airplane crash that killed his wife, a couple from San Francisco and a Spaniard, Costa Rican authorities said Sunday.
Turner, CIA director under President Carter, was in a San Jose hospital Sunday. No details on his condition were available.
His wife, Eli Karen, was killed Saturday afternoon when their Taxi Aereo Centroamericano flight crashed into a home shortly after taking off in San Jose, U.S. Embassy spokesman David Gilmour said.
Also killed in the crash were Siegfried and Therese Richert of San Francisco, and Spaniard Antonio Sanchez Diaz, according to Gilmour and Javier Montero, chief of operations for Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Organization.
Turner and 16 other people, most of them Spaniards, were injured when the Czech-built LET 410 plowed into a house in an upscale neighborhood near the Tobias Bolanos airport, Red Cross officials said.
Three people were in the house, including a Nicaraguan housekeeper who suffered minor injuries.
"It was like a bomb. Pieces of cement, wood, and even a wall fell on top of us," the housekeeper, Yamileth Saenz, told the daily La Nación.
In addition to Turner, the injured passengers and crew included nine Spaniards, two French citizens, one Salvadoran and three Costa Ricans, the Red Cross said. Most were in stable condition in San Jose hospitals Sunday.
The Costa Rican pilot was seriously injured, said Pamela Villalta, spokeswoman for San Juan de Dios Hospital.
The plane had been destined for the Tortuguero national park on Costa Rica's Atlantic coast.
The cause of the accident was under investigation. It was unclear whether heavy winds played a role.