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Bin Laden’s Family Members Killed in Plane Crash in England - Reports

© AP Photo / Mazhar Ali KhanOsama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden - Sputnik International
A plane crash at a car auction in Hampshire England has left four dead. The tragedy is made all the more eerie by the fact the aircraft involved was a private jet owned by the family of Osama bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden’s stepmother, half-sister and her husband have reportedly died in a plane crash in Hampshire, southern England, along with the aircraft’s pilot, The Guardian reports.

The newspaper said on Saturday that the Saudi ambassador to Great Britain has offered condolences to the bin Laden family on Twitter, however, the identities of Hampshire plane crash victims have not been confirmed.

The Guardian added that the Saudi embassy was working with the British authorities to investigate the accident, which involved a business jet that was reportedly registered to a company owned by the bin Laden family.

Earlier it was reported that while trying to land at Blackbushe Airport, roughly 40 miles southeast of London, a light aircraft overshot the runway and "went up into a ball of flames" in a nearby parking lot.

"I was passing the airport on my way home and there was a big column of smoke in the air," Robert Belcher, a local aviation enthusiast, told the Daily Mail. "I assumed it was cars on fire in the auction yard."

According to authorities, all four people onboard the Embraer Phenom 300 – one pilot and three passengers – were killed.

"Sadly, there were no survivors," acting chief inspector Olga Venner told reporters, adding that "no one on the ground has been injured."

Authorities identified the jet as belonging to Salem Aviation, a Saudi company based in Jeddah, which is owned by the family of Osama bin Laden. The jet was en route from Milan, where the Bin Ladens also have business interests.

Salem Aviation was named for Osama Bin Laden’s brother, who was killed in separate plane crash in San Antonio, Texas in 1988.

The auto auction was being conducted by British Car Auction at the time of the accident, but the crash site occurred in an overflow lot. BCA estimates that 15 automobiles were destroyed.

"I saw it when it had just happened, and could see the plane and cars in flames," Andrew Thomas, who was in the process of buying a car at the time of the crash, told the BBC. "The plane nosedived into the cars and exploded on impact."

Other witnesses said the aircraft was trying to evade another plane, though authorities have not confirmed those reports.

"I was in a field with the cattle and I heard an aircraft coming very very fast from behind me," local resident Daphne Knowles said, according to the Daily Mail. "The engines were screaming far too much and the aircraft was trying to land – I’m a glider pilot and I thought it’s far too low to the ground."

Another witness described the plane’s descent.

"There was a loud bang and then my son quickly came in to the auction hall where the cashiers are, saying a plane had gone down,” Joe Ramos told the Daily Mail. “We quickly went back out only to see a private jet had gone over the fence of the airport."

"It’s actually clipped the fence, spun around and crashed into the cars where they are sold," he added.

Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALS during a raid of his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was wanted for plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which almost 3,000 people were killed.

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