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Osama bin Laden's relatives' bodies 'incinerated' in private jet crash

Published 04/08/2015

Emergency services at Blackbushe Airport after the crash
Emergency services at Blackbushe Airport after the crash

The bodies of the relatives of Osama bin Laden were "incinerated" when the private jet they were flying in crash-landed at a car auction site, a coroner has said.

Andrew Bradley, coroner for North Hampshire, has opened and adjourned an inquest at Basingstoke in to the deaths of the three members of the bin Laden family and their pilot from Jordan.

The Saudi-registered Phenom 300 jet was attempting to land at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, on Friday, when it crashed on to dozens of cars and burst into flames.

Mr Bradley confirmed the identities and spellings of the three members of bin Laden's family as his stepmother Raja Bashir Hashem, 75, her daughter, Sana bin Laden, 53, and Zouheir Anuar Hashem, 56. The Jordanian pilot was 58-year-old Mazen Salim Alqasim, Mr Bradley said.

Mr Bradley said: "The bodies were incinerated but I cannot tell you any more than that about how they died at this stage."

The inquest was adjourned for a preliminary hearing on September 3 but Mr Bradley said a full hearing would not be heard for at least nine months while the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) completed its investigation into the crash.

Hampshire Police, which is jointly investigating the accident, earlier confirmed that the three passengers on board the plane were members of the large and wealthy bin Laden family, from Saudi Arabia, who were visiting the UK on holiday.

The Saudi ambassador to the UK offered his condolences to the bin Laden family, who own a major construction company in Saudi Arabia.

The statement said: "His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud has paid his condolences to the family and relatives of Mohammed bin Laden at Blackbushe Airport in Britain for the great loss they have suffered as a result of the crash of the plane that was carrying the family."

A further statement said the embassy would work with the British authorities to ensure a quick repatriation of the bodies for burial.

Handout photo dated 15/08/14 of the Phenom 300 jet believed to be the aircraft that crash-landed into a car auction site at Blackbushe Airport. Photo: Robert Belcher/PA
Handout photo dated 15/08/14 of the Phenom 300 jet believed to be the aircraft that crash-landed into a car auction site at Blackbushe Airport. Photo: Robert Belcher/PA

The plane had flown in from Malpensa Airport in Milan to the airfield.

Bin Laden, who claimed responsibility for the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States, is believed to have had more than 50 brothers and sisters and many stepmothers.

His billionaire father Mohammed founded a sprawling construction conglomerate awarded many major building contracts in the Sunni kingdom. He died in a plane crash in Saudi Arabia in 1967.

Smoke rising from Blackbushe airport after a light aircraft crashed into a car auction site (@NathanGFilm/Twitter/PA)
Smoke rising from Blackbushe airport after a light aircraft crashed into a car auction site (@NathanGFilm/Twitter/PA)

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 US special forces in Pakistan in 2011.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are in contact with the Saudi Arabian authorities following the air crash in Hampshire on July 31, including to offer advice on repatriation."

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