Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province, has died in a helicopter crash near the border of Yemen on Sunday afternoon.
The Prince returning from an inspection tour when his aircraft came down near Abha late on Sunday.
According to interior ministry, An anti-corruption body led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, ordered the detentions of dozens of people, including 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of ex-ministers.
Alwaleed Bin Talal, a billionaire businessman and member of the Saudi Arabia royal family was also among the arrested people. Alwaleed owns major stakes in companies like Citigroup, 21st Century Fox, Twitter to name a few.
The prince, who’s the son of a former crown prince, Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz who was pushed aside by his half-brother King Salman a few months after he took the throne in 2015, was traveling with a team of other government officials, whose fate remains unknown.
Saudi news outlet Okaz said that unconfirmed reports suggested there were no survivors
Before the crash, Saudi officials said they had intercepted a missile near Riyadh’s airport on Saturday that was fired from war-torn Yemen.
Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin’s death comes a day after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the arrest of 11 of his royal cousins, as well as nearly 40 of the country’s most powerful military officers, influential businessmen and government ministers, some of them, were reported to be potential rivals.
Mansour served as a consultant to his father’s royal court and in April 2017 was among eight young royals appointed deputy governors.
official Saudi Press Agency said the prince and seven provincial officials had boarded a helicopter on Sunday morning to tour a number of coastal projects west of the city of Abha.
“While returning in the evening of the same day, contact with the plane was lost in the vicinity of the Reda reserve,” it added. “The authorities are currently searching for survivors as the wreckage has been found.” BBC reports”;
Later, state news channel al-Ikhbariya announced the death of the prince.
Although, no immediate connection could be drawn between the helicopter crash and the arrest many assert that the helicopter crash and the arrests are all part of a larger conspiracy. The arrested Saudi officials are held in Hotel Ritz Carlton in Riyadh and several other five-star hotels across the capital.
The interior ministry statement did not draw any link between the crash and the conflict, but on Saturday the Saudi military intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile near the capital, Riyadh, that was fired by Houthi fighters.
The Saudi-led coalition said it was closing all of Yemen’s air, land and sea borders in response to the missile attack. It accused Iran of supplying the missile, and said that it might amount to an act of war on Tehran’s part.