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24 May, 2024 07:00

Iran’s military reveals new details of Raisi crash

The president was returning from a ceremony on the border with Azerbaijan when his helicopter crashed, killing everyone on board
Iran’s military reveals new details of Raisi crash

The General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces released the preliminary findings of the investigation into a helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation, Iranian news agencies Tasnim and Mehr reported on Thursday.

An expert investigative committee arrived at the scene on Monday, the day after the fatal crash, and found no signs of bullet impacts or similar damage in the wreckage. The investigators determined that the aircraft had caught fire after it hit the ground, media reported, citing Iranian military officials.

Raisi’s helicopter did not deviate from its designated flight path, according to the findings. Around a minute and a half before the crash, the pilot communicated with the other two helicopters in the flight group, the report stated, adding that nothing suspicious was found in the conversations between the flight crew and dispatchers.

More details will be provided after further investigation, the committee added.

Raisi was flying in the northwestern Iranian province of East Azerbaijan when his aircraft crashed in the mountainous region, killing everyone aboard. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Imam Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem were also on the presidential helicopter.

“The complexity of the region, fog and low temperature,” slowed the search and rescue operation, forcing it to extend through the night, the investigators said. The exact crash site was found at 5am on Monday with the assistance of drones, they added.

Tehran announced that it will hold a presidential election on June 28. Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has become acting president in the meantime, with the approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.