Saudi deputy governor and 7 others killed in helicopter crash

A helicopter carrying several Saudi officials, including a high-ranking prince, has crashed in the kingdom’s southwest near the border with Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al-Arabiya, based in Dubai, reported that the crash killed Prince Mansour bin Muqrin and seven others.

The accident happened Sunday night when the helicopter carrying Prince Mansour bin Muqrin and other regional officials were returning from a regular inspection tour, said the report, quoting a Ministry of Interior spokesman.

The officials were reportedly visiting a number of development projects near the coast in Asir.

State media did not reveal the cause of the crash.

Prince Mansour was the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence service director and a one-time crown prince of the kingdom. Prince Muqrin was removed as crown prince in April 2015 by his half-brother King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in favor of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a counterterrorism czar and interior minister.

Prince Mansour bin Muqrin was appointed deputy governor of Asir province, which borders Yemen, earlier this year.