The sister and stepmother of Osama bin Laden are believed to be amongst those who died in a plane crash on Friday at a car auction in Blackbushe Airport in the UK.
Without confirming the identities of the victims, the Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, offered condolences on the embassy’s official Twitter account to the Bin Laden family.
“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 Telegraph reports: According to reports in the Arab media the dead included bin Laden’s stepmother Rajaa Hashim and sister Sana, who worked in an orphanage in Saudi Arabia. Osama’s brother-in-law, Sana’s husband, Zuhair Hashim, is also believed to be among the dead. The pilot, who was reported to be Jordanian, was also killed.
A friend of the family – using only the first name Ajwa’a – paid tribute to Sana on her Facebook account alongside a photographer of her taken inside a plane, saying she worked at a orphanage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and had not had contact with her brother Osama for decades.
The friend said: “She lived in a modest flat and had no servants. She did all the housework and looked after her husband. She was not concerned with expensive clothes or jewellery. She was only concerned with helping the poor and the needy children. She was a lovely person and may God bless her.”
Another friend said She did not have any children of her own but was “loved dearly” by those at the orphanage, who called her “Mama Soso”. She had recently organised a breakfast club for orphans and was said to have been a favourite of the children in her care.
This is the third time that members of bin Laden’s extended family have died in plane crashes.
His father, was killed when his Beechcraft 18 crashed on a landing strip near Usran on September 13, 1967.
The tail-fin number HZ-IBN was the same as the one on the Embraer which crashed in Hampshire and it was reported that the registration was retained by the bin Laden family after Mohammed’s death.
The half-brother of bin Laden, Salem who was educated at Millfield School, in Somerset, died when his aircraft drifted into high-voltage power lines in San Antonio, Texas In 1988