Saudi of­fi­cial says bin Laden fam­ily mem­bers killed in UK plane crash

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JON GAM­BRELL AND JILL LAW­LESS

Fam­ily mem­bers of the late alQaida leader Osama bin Laden were among four peo­ple killed in a pri­vate jet crash in south­ern Eng­land, a Saudi am­bas­sador said, but did not fur­ther iden­tify the dead.

Prince Mo­hammed Bin Nawaf Bin Ab­del-Aziz, the Saudi am­bas­sador to the United King­dom, of­fered his con­do­lences to the wealthy bin Laden fam­ily, which owns a ma­jor con­struc­tion com­pany in Saudi Ara­bia.

“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.

Po­lice say a pi­lot and

three pas­sen­gers died when an ex­ec­u­tive jet crashed into a park­ing lot and burst into flames while try­ing to land at Black­bushe Air­port in south­ern Eng­land Fri­day af­ter­noon. The plane had been fly­ing from Malpensa Air­port in Mi­lan.

No one on the ground was hurt. Po­lice and the Air Ac­ci­dents In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch launched a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Black­bushe Air­port said the Em­braer Phe­nom 300 jet crashed near the end of the run­way while try­ing to land at the air­field about 65 kilo­me­ters (40 miles) south­west of Lon­don, which is used by pri­vate planes and fly­ing clubs.

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.

The of­fi­cial Saudi Press Agency ear­lier iden­ti­fied the plane as Saudi-owned with­out men­tion­ing the bin Ladens. It said a Saudi of­fi­cial would work with Bri­tish author­i­ties in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the crash.

The bin Laden fam­ily dis­owned Osama in 1994 when Saudi Ara­bia stripped him of his cit­i­zen­ship be­cause of his mil­i­tant ac­tiv­i­ties. The al-Qaida leader was killed by U.S. spe­cial forces in Pak­istan in 2011.

The fam­ily is a large and wealthy one. Osama bin Laden’s bil­lion­aire fa­ther Mo­hammed had more than 50 chil­dren and founded the Bin­laden Group, a sprawl­ing con­struc­tion con­glom­er­ate awarded many ma­jor build­ing con­tracts in the Sunni king­dom.

Mo­hammed bin Laden 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.

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