By Ayeotan Shola
The sister and stepmother of the former al-Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden were among members of his family killed when a business jet ploughed into a car auction centre in Hampshire.
Several members of the bin Laden family died after the private plane crashed while trying to land at an airport in Hampshire, on Friday.
The dead included bin Laden’s stepmother Rajaa Hashim and sister Sana, who worked in an orphanage in Saudi Arabia.
Osama’s brother-in-law, Sana’s husband, Zuhair Hashim, is also believed to be among the dead. The pilot, who was reported to be Jordanian, was also killed.
Sana bin Laden was a known philanthropist, supporting local orphanages and sponsoring children’s education.
The deaths of members of the prominent Saudi business clan and relatives of Osama bin Laden – who masterminded the September 11 attack on New York in 2001, and was killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan ten years later – was confirmed on Twitter by the country’s ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud.
“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 said in the tweet
The ambassador added: “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 aircraft, which was understood to be flying from Milan-Malpensa Airport in Italy to Blackbushe airfield in Hampshire, came down after overshooting the runway and clipping a fence between the airfield and the British Car Auctions centre.
The £7 million Embraer Phenom 300 jet then flipped over and landed on a number of cars in an adjacent auction site, sparking a huge blaze. Around 20 cars were completely destroyed.