UK

Osama Bin Laden's Family Killed In Plane Crash At Blackbushe Airport In Hampshire

01/08/2015 09:30 BST | Updated 01/08/2015 10:59 BST

Family members of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden were killed in a private jet crash in the south of England, a Saudi ambassador has confirmed.

Four people - the pilot and three passengers - died when the executive Saudi jet burst into flames and crash-landed into a car auction site at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire on Friday afternoon.

blackbushe

The crash site on Friday

The plane was reportedly owned by the family of deceased terrorist Osama Bin Laden, who founded Al-Qaeda and was behind the 9/11 attacks. His family own a major construction company in Saudi Arabia and disowned Osama in 1994, when Saudi Arabia stripped him of his citizenship because of his militant activities.

The Saudi ambassador did not confirm who the dead were, but a Bin Laden family friend told NBC that they were Rajaa Hashim, Osama bin Laden's stepmother; Sana bin Laden, his half-sister; and her husband Zuhair Hashim.

The Embraer Phenom 300 jet tried to land at the airport, which is used by private planes and flying clubs and is around 40 miles southwest of London.

Andrew Thomas, who was at the center, 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.

Aerial images showed burned debris lying in a parking lot full of cars. Venner said police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch have launched a joint investigation into the crash.

A spokesman for the Hampshire Fire Service said crews were notified at 3.10pm on Friday. Firefighters from Rushmoor Fire Station and Hartley Wintney were also involved.

The incident is not thought to be being treated as a terror attack.

osama bin laden file

Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011

Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdel-Aziz, the Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, offered his condolences to the wealthy bin Laden family.

"The embassy will follow up on the incident and its circumstances with the concerned British authorities and work on speeding up the handover of the bodies of the victims to the kingdom for prayer and burial," the ambassador said in a statement tweeted by the embassy late Friday.

Osama Bin Laden was shot and killed in a compound in Pakistan, during a covert US operation in 2011.

His family is a large and wealthy one. Bin Laden's billionaire father Mohammed, who died in 1967, had more than 50 children and founded the Binladen Group, a sprawling construction conglomerate awarded many major building contracts in the Sunni kingdom.

Blackbushe plane crash

The official Saudi Press Agency said a Saudi official would work with British authorities in investigating the crash.

Acting Chief Inspector Olga Venner, of Hampshire Police, said: "We can confirm that there were four people on board, including the pilot. "Sadly there were no survivors. No-one on the ground has been injured and we would urge anyone with any information, including pictures or videos, to contact 101."

Osama Bin Laden's Life

Blackbushe plane crash