This story has been updated.
Update, Saturday, 11:05 a.m. EDT: The three members of the extended family of the deceased al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who were among the four people killed in an airplane crash in the U.K. Friday were identified as his half sister Sana’ Mohamed bin Laden, her husband Zuhair Hashem and her mother Raja’ Hashem, according to Reuters, which cited Saudi Arabia-owned Al Arabiya television. The crash of the plane also claimed the life of its pilot.
A Saudi Arabia-registered plane that crashed at the Blackbushe airport in Hampshire, United Kingdom, on Friday belonged to an aviation firm owned by Osama bin Laden’s family, according to media reports. Four people, including relatives of the slain al Qaeda leader, were killed when the aircraft crashed into a car auction site at the airfield.
The light aircraft -- an Embraer Phenom 300 -- took off from Milan and crashed while attempting to land. The jet reportedly exploded when it overshot the runway and ploughed through the car auction center.
“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,” Olga Venner, a senior police official at Hampshire, said, according to media reports.
Although the identities of those on board the plane have not been confirmed, the Saudi embassy in the U.K. offered condolences to the bin Laden family, which is believed to be close to the Saudi royal family and controls a vast business empire, including the Saudi Binladin Group -- one of the largest construction firms in the world.
“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 Balckbushe airport,” the Saudi ambassador to the U.K. said in a statement.
According to unconfirmed reports, Osama’s stepmother and sister were among those killed in the crash. Osama’s late father Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden had 22 wives and is believed to have fathered over 50 children.
Saudi authorities said that they would support the U.K.’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in its investigation into the crash. The Saudi embassy is also working with British authorities to ensure the bodies are handed over for funerals and burials in Saudi Arabia, BBC reported.