Osama's sister, stepmother were on holiday during plane crash

Last Updated : 02 August 2015, 13:07 IST
Last Updated : 02 August 2015, 13:07 IST

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Osama bin Laden's sister and stepmother were on a family holiday in the UK when their private jet crashed into a car auction site while trying to land at a Hampshire airport on Friday.

The plane had made regular trips to Britain in the past two years, leading to speculation that members of the former Al Qaeda chief's family were frequent visitors to Britain, The Telegraph reported.

Osama's stepmother, Rajaa Hashim, and his half-sister Sana, who worked in an orphanage in Saudi Arabia, were killed along with Sana's husband Zuhair Hashim and their Jordanian pilot, when the plane crashed while trying to land at Blackbushe airport, near Yateley, south of England.

The Saudi Arabia-registered plane had ploughed into a car auction site and burst into flames.

Hampshire police said the family were "visiting the UK on vacation".

The tragedy on Friday is the third fatal plane crash involving members of the vast and wealthy bin Laden clan.

Osama's father, Mohammed, was killed in Saudi Arabia in 1967 when he was on his way to marry his 23rd wife while the late terrorist leader's half-brother, Salem, died in a crash in America in 1988.

Officials from the UK government's Air Accidents Investigation Branch are examining the scene of the crash around Blackbushe airport, about 40 miles from London.

The private jet, an Embraer Phenom 300 worth 7-million pounds and registered in Saudi Arabia, appeared to overshoot the runway and ploughed into rows of parked vehicles on an adjacent car auction site.

The bin Laden family, which runs a huge construction conglomerate in Saudi Arabia, are not known to have any significant business interest in the UK, but London is a popular destination for many wealthy Saudis for shopping trips and socialising with friends.

Hampshire police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the crash.
Experts believe the investigation is likely to focus on pilot error.

The plane's pilot was Mazen Salem al-Dajah, a Jordanian in his late 50s who was employed by the Bin Laden corporation and had 25 years' experience of flying. 

Published 02 August 2015, 13:07 IST

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