Slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s family members were killed when their private jet crashed in southern England while landing, the Saudi Arabian embassy here said today.
The Phenom 300 jet which was arriving from Italy crashed during an attempt to land at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire, some 65 kilometres from here, killing all four persons on board including the pilot yesterday.
Saudi ambassador Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud offered condolences on the embassy’s official Twitter handle to the bin Laden family, a prominent Saudi clan with vast business interests but did not identify the victims.
“His royal highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, the ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United Kingdom, 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,” he tweeted.
Saudi media suggested on social media and on their websites that the dead included the sister and stepmother of Osama, who was killed in 2011 by US Navy SEALS in Pakistan.
It was not immediately possible to confirm the reports but the aircraft was registered to a firm owned by the bin Laden family, The Guardian reported.
Osama’s father Mohammed Bin Laden was also killed in a plane crash in Saudi Arabia in 1967.
The embassy said it would work with British authorities to probe the incident and repatriate the bodies for burial in Saudi Arabia.
An eyewitness to yesterday’s crash said the jet exploded on impact at the British Car Auctions site, that operates an auction site and warehouse at the Hampshire airfield.
In a statement, Blackbushe Airport said the jet crashed near the end of the runway while attempting to make a landing.
Barry Wright said he was at the warehouse when the crash occurred and that the plane “went up in a ball of flames in about 60 seconds”.