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19 May, 2024 13:18

Helicopter carrying Iranian president crashes – reports

The aircraft with Ebrahim Raisi on board suffered a “hard landing,” according to some media
Helicopter carrying Iranian president crashes – reports

A helicopter on which Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was a passenger encountered a “hard landing” on Sunday, according to reports by Iranian state television and other media outlets.

The Interior Minister of Iran Ahmad Vahidi has reportedly confirmed that the helicopter with Raisi on board had made a hard landing in the city of Jolfa in the northwestern Iranian province of East Azarbaijan.

Several other senior officials, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Governor of East Azarbaijan Malek Rahmati, were traveling with the president, reports claim.

About an hour after the incident, rescue teams reportedly managed to reach the area and began a search operation that is currently ongoing.

Foggy weather and the impassibility of the area has made the search operations difficult, IRNA writes. The Iranian news agency, citing the head of the Red Crescent in the country, said the number of rescue teams sent to the area was increased from 20 to 40 teams.

Shortly after the first reports about the incident, news outlet Mehr reported that the president was fine and was traveling by car as part of a motorcade to Tabriz, the provincial capital. However, it later deleted this update.

There were three helicopters in Raisi’s convoy, Tasnim writes, amid conflicting reports. Two of the aircraft, which were carrying some ministers and officials, reached their destination safely. The agency claims that some of the officials who were with the president at the time of the incident were able to contact what Tasnim described as a “center,” which may indicate that the incident had not resulted in serious injury.

Earlier on Sunday, President Raisi was attending a ceremony along with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, to inaugurate a dam on the Aras River. The facility was jointly built by the neighboring states.

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