Bin Laden Mother, Sister Die in Plane Crash in UK

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Members of the emergency services attend the scene of a plane crash at a car park next to Blackbushe Airport, in Hampshire, southern England on Saturday. AFP
Members of the emergency services attend the scene of a plane crash at a car park next to Blackbushe Airport, in Hampshire, southern England on Saturday. AFP

Agencies

LONDON –– Members of Osama Bin Laden’s family were among four people who died when a private jet crashed in Britain, Saudi Arabia’s embassy in London said on Saturday, according to media reports.
The Saudi-registered plane plowed into a car auction site and burst into flames in southern England on Friday.

While the embassy did not comment on the identities of the dead, a source close to the family speaking to AFP and Saudi media indicated that they were Bin Laden’s mother, his sister Sanaa, the sister’s husband Zuhair Hashem, and a Jordanian pilot.

Local police said three passengers and the pilot died when the Phenom 300 jet attempted to land at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire.

The Saudi ambassador “offered his condolences to the sons of the late Mohammed Bin Laden and their relations for the grave incident of the crash of the plane carrying members of the family at Blackbushe airport,” a statement posted on the embassy’s Twitter account said.

The embassy also said it would work with British authorities to investigate the incident and repatriate the bodies for burial in Saudi Arabia.

Osama Bin Laden’s father Mohammed was a construction magnate and his numerous relatives constitute a prominent family with wide-ranging business interests.

Mohammed Bin Laden himself died in a plane crash in Saudi Arabia in 1967. One of his sons, Salem, was killed when his ultralight aircraft flew into power lines in San Antonio, Texas, in 1988.

His son Osama, the late leader of the Al-Qaeda militant network, was shot dead by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011.

Footage of the aftermath of Friday’s crash showed plumes of black smoke rising into the sky and several cars on fire in the outdoor area of British Car Auctions, where vehicles were parked awaiting sale. Andrew Thomas, who was at a car auction sales center based at the airport, told the BBC that “the plane nosedived into the cars and exploded on impact.” He said he saw the plane and several cars in flames.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement Friday that the plane was registered in the Gulf state and that it would work with British investigators to determine the cause of the crash.
British media reported that aircraft had taken off from Milan’s Malpensa airport in Italy.

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