Osama bin Laden relatives believed among dead in Hampshire plane crash

Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

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The sister and stepmother of former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden are reported to be among the victims of a plane crash in Hampshire.

The Saudi Arabia-registered Embraer Phenom 300 crashed near Blackbushe Airport in Yateley near Basingstoke yesterday.

Emergency services at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire, after four people died when a private Phenom 300 jet crash-landed in a car auction site and burst into flames as it approached the runway.Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Emergency services at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire, after four people died when a private Phenom 300 jet crash-landed in a car auction site and burst into flames as it approached the runway.Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

The private jet is believed to have belonged to an aviation firm owned by the family of the terrorist.

The Saudi embassy in London issued a statement on Twitter offering condolences to the family, without identifying those killed.

The Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, said he wanted to pay his condolences to the family and relatives of Mohamed Bin Laden. Four people died when the jet crash-landed in a car auction site and burst into flames as it approached the runway shortly after 3pm yesterday.

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.”

She said police had launched a joint investigation with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

The airfield has been closed.

An airport spokesman said: “Blackbushe Airport confirmed that a Phenom 300 jet with four persons on board crashed near the end of the runway around 3.09pm while attempting to make a landing.

“The scene was attended by Blackbushe Fire and Rescue within minutes, followed by Hampshire fire, police and ambulance units.”

Sources told the Press Association the jet had flown in from Milan, Italy, and was attempting to land.

Footage from above the crash site, broadcast on Sky News, showed the immediate aftermath of the incident.

A dark plume of black smoke could be seen twisting into the sky, while an orange-red ball of fire raged below.

The fire appeared to be in the middle of a car park, with vehicles lined up for inspection at the auction site based at the airport.

Debris from the jet could be seen strewn among the dozens of severely damaged cars.

Robert Belcher, a local aviation enthusiast, said he was driving home when he saw a plume of black smoke coming from the site.

He said: “I was passing the airport on my way home and there was a big column of smoke in the air.

“The fire service had closed the road behind me.

“I could see the plume of smoke waving from about five miles away and was hoping it was just a car fire rather than an aircraft accident.”

Mr Belcher said he was “shocked” when he discovered that a jet had crashed.

He added: “Apparently the aircraft was landing and just didn’t stop.

“At the end of the runway there is a car park because the airport is used for car auctions and it’s gone into there.

“I assumed it was cars on fire in the auction yard.

“Local people have said that it was this aircraft which is registered in Saudi Arabia.

“It’s been a regular visitor to the airport for a few months.

“The aircraft would hold six people, it’s a small jet.”

Andrew Thomas, who was paying for a car at the time of impact, said the plane “exploded”.

“I saw it when it had just happened, and could see the plane and cars in flames,” he told BBC Surrey.

“The plane nosedived into the cars and exploded on impact.

“I have heard from staff here that four people were on the plane.”

A group of people, believed to be the family of the victims, were escorted to the site by police officers.

The scorched remains of the jet could be seen lying beside charred hulks of cars in the middle of the auction storage area.

A resident who did not want to be named said he saw the plane come down while he was repairing his chimney.

“I was on the roof and I heard the jet and thought I would watch it land,” he said.

“I saw it going past, then it was about 20 feet off the ground and I thought, it’s not got enough runway to land here. It was too high as it was coming in to land and didn’t touch the runway.

“The next thing I heard was the crash sirens and a big plume of smoke going up.

“It was a really big plume of smoke and I could hear cars exploding over at the market.”