Iranian President Raisi involved in helicopter crash

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People follow the news about the crash of a helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, in a shop in Tehran, Iran, on May 19. Majid Asgaripour/West Asia News Agency/Reuters

Twenty rescue teams and drones have been sent to the area where a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian crashed on Sunday, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA.

The pair, along with a group of dignitaries, were aboard the helicopter returning from a ceremony for an opening of a dam on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan when the aircraft “crashed upon landing in Varzaqan region on Sunday,” IRNA English reported.

“20 rescue teams and drones have been sent to the area, but due to the impassability of the area, its mountainous and forest conditions, as well as unfavorable weather conditions, especially heavy fog, the search and rescue operation will take time,” IRNA said.

IRNA also reported, citing locals, that the helicopter crashed in the Dizmar Forest area between the villages of Ozi and Pir Davood. Residents said they heard noises from the area, it added.

Iran’s interior minister Ahmad Vahidi said one of the helicopters in a convoy was forced to make a hard landing due to foggy weather conditions.

“Now different rescue groups are moving toward the area, but given that it is foggy and the unsuitable weather and the conditions, it may take some time until they reach where the helicopter is,” said Vahidi during a televised address posted on Telegram by IRNA.

He added that there had been some contact with the passengers on the helicopter, but did not have further details.


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