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Three relatives of late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden were among the four people killed under mysterious circumstances when a private jet crashed in southern England. Bin Laden's stepmother, Rajaa Hashim, his sister, Sana, and her husband Zuhair Hashim were immediately killed when the plane crashed into dozens of parked cars at a car auction site near Blackbushe Airport, reports the Telegraph. The family members were in the U.K. on vacation, according to police. The pilot of the plane was a Jordanian in his late 50s, reports the Associated Press.
The bin Laden family, which owns a construction conglomerate and is one of the wealthiest in Saudi Arabia, disowned Osama in 1994. The Saudi ambassador to Britain offered his condolences and said the embassy was working with authorities to investigate the crash. Blackbushe Airport said in a statement that the jet crashed near the end of the runway, which suggests it was trying to land. "It suggests that the plane either landed too late or tried to take off again when the pilot realized it wasn't going to make the end of the runway," a former air accident investigator tells the BBC. "Or it may have been a problem with the brakes."
Many immediately started raising questions about why the plane crashed. The plane had used the runway several times in recent months and the crash happened in "near perfect conditions on a runway that was fitted with Precision Approach Pathway Indicators," reports the Guardian. Those indicators point out to pilots if they're coming in too high or too low.
"It doesn't make sense to me as an ordinary pilot why something that advanced and easy to fly would bury itself in the auction ground at the end of such a long runway," said Simon Moores, a flight instructor and pilot.
The bin Laden family is no stranger to plane crashes. Mohammed bin Laden, Osama's father, was killed in a plane crash in 1967. One of his sons, Salem, also died in a plane crash in 1988.