Relatives of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden were killed in a private jet crash in southern England, according to the Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdel-Aziz offered his condolences for the bin Laden family members who were among four people killed in the crash.
“The embassy will follow up on the incident and its circumstances with the concerned British authorities and work on speeding up the handover of the bodies of the victims to the kingdom for prayer and burial,” the ambassador said in a statement tweeted by the embassy late Friday.
He did not identify which family members were killed.
In a statement, Hampshire Police told the BBC: “We do believe three of the deceased to be the mother, sister and brother-in-law of the owner of the aircraft, all of whom are from the bin Laden family, but formal post-mortem examinations are ongoing.”
The relatives are being identified by Arab media as Osama bin Laden’s stepmother, Rajaa Hashim, his sister Sana bin Laden and her husband, Zuhair Hashim. Police said the passengers were Saudi Arabian nationals visiting the United Kingdom on vacation.
In a statement, the embassy said it was working with the British authorities to swiftly hand over the bodies for funerals and burials in Saudi Arabia, according to the BBC.
The pilot of the aircraft and three passengers were killed when the private jet crashed into a parking lot while attempting to land at Blackbushe Airport on Friday afternoon. No one on the ground was injured.
Blackbushe Airport said the Embraer Phenom 300 jet crashed near the end of the runway while trying to land, the Associated Press reported. The airport, which is about 40 miles southwest of London, is frequented by private planes.
Geoff Pierce, an aviation enthusiast from Fleet in Hampshire, was at Blackbushe airfield and told the BBC that the plane appeared to be traveling at a high speed.
“The next thing I knew, the siren was wailing on the control tower and then I saw a big plume of black smoke,” he said.
The wealthy bin Laden family owns a major construction company in Saudi Arabia. It disowned Osama bin Laden in 1994. The al-Qaeda leader was killed by U.S. commandos at a compound in Pakistan in 2011.
Osama bin Laden’s father, Mohammed, was the billionaire founder of the Binladen Group. He had more than 50 children. He was killed in a plane crash in Saudi Arabia in 1967. One of his sons, Salem, died when his ultralight aircraft collided with power lines in San Antonio in 1988.