Sunday 23 June 2024

Iranian president's helicopter involved in crash, says report

TEHRAN, May 19, 2024

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday while visiting a northern region and his condition is currently unknown, reported CNN, citing media reports. 
The aircraft, which was also carrying Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, came down in East Azerbaijan Province and emergency crews have so far been unable to reach it due to foggy conditions, stated the report citing Iranian state news agency IRNA. 
It is unclear what the exact status is of Raisi’s helicopter.
According to BBC, Ahmad Alirezabeigi, Iranian MP for the city of Tabriz, had told reporters in Tehran that rescue workers have yet to find the location of the helicopter carrying the president and foreign minister.
He added that the other two helicopters in the convoy landed safely.
The Iranian armed forces have been in the area of the crash since the early hours of Sunday, Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Bagheri said. Twenty rescue teams and drones were sent to the area where the helicopter came down, it stated.
Earlier AP reported citing State TV sources that Raisi was travelling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and the “hard landing” happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 km northwest of the Iranian capital Tehran.  
However, later IRNA reported, citing locals, the helicopter crashed in the Dizmar Forest area between the villages of Ozi and Pir Davood. Residents in northern Varzeqan, East Azerbaijan Province, said they heard noises from the area, it stated.
Raisi and Amir Abdollahian were among a group of dignitaries onboard the helicopter returning from a ceremony for an opening of a dam on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan when it crashed upon landing in Varzaqan region on Sunday, it added.


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