Bin Laden jet crashes into British Car Auctions site
The aircraft belonged to the Bin Laden family and was registered in Saudi Arabia. It was flying on Friday from Malpensa airport in Milan, Italy, to the small airport in Hampshire county, where it is said to land frequently. In addition to the airport, a business park, and a karting track, the Blackbushe site also hosts a facility run by British Car Auctions, described as Europe's largest vehicle marketplace. A request for comment and details was not immediately returned by the company, but the crash reportedly damaged a number of vehicles on impact and in the subsequent fires that erupted in the aftermath.
An investigation into the cause of the accident is currently underway by British authorities. The airport, located less than an hour and a half southwest of London, is said to be equipped with advanced Precision Approach Pathway Indicators (PAPIs), visible from half a mile away, to enable a smooth landing.
The nine-million-dollar Embraer Phenom 300 was reportedly carrying, in addition to the pilot, three members of the extended Bin Laden family: Rajaa Hashim (stepmother to Osama bin Laden), Sana bin Laden (his half-sister), and Zuhair Hashim (her husband). This was the third fatal airplane crash involving members of the Bin Laden family. Mohammed bin Laden, the family patriarch and Osama's father, died when his Beechcraft 18 crashed in Saudi Arabia in 1967. His eldest son Salem bin Laden (Osama's half-brother) was killed when his aircraft crashed into power lines in Texas in 1988.
Mohammed married 22 times, of which Rajaa Hashim (killed in Friday's crash) was one. He was said to have been flying to his 23rd wedding when he died in the crash. He fathered 54 known children, of which Osama was one, and Sana (also killed in Friday's crash) was another.
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