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Iran’s president-foreign minister missing after helicopter crash

Al Jazeera

Update: 19 May 2024,

Iran’s President Ibrahim RaisiPhoto: Reuters file photo


After the helicopter crash, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian and their companions are missing. Rescue operations are being hampered there due to hostile weather. The accident took place near Zolfa area of ​​East Azerbaijan province on Sunday. Due to heavy rains and dense fog there, nothing can be seen at a distance of more than five meters.

In addition to the Iranian president and foreign minister, Malek Rahmati, the governor of East Azerbaijan Province, and Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ali Hashem, the spokesman of Iran’s supreme leader in this province, were in the helicopter.

Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported that the area where the accident occurred is surrounded by mountainous areas and forests. A rescue helicopter has been dispatched to the scene, Babak Yektaparast, a spokesman for Iran’s emergency services agency, told IRNA. But it could not reach there due to thick fog.

Iran’s state-run Xay (formerly Twitter) published several images. It is seen that some rescue teams have reached the spot. Ahmed Ali Reza Beigi, a member of parliament elected from the East Azerbaijan capital city of Tabriz, said rescuers had yet to locate the helicopter carrying the president. Rescue work is hampered due to rain and fog.

Iran’s president :

Al-Jazeera journalist Ali Hashem said that 40 rescue teams participated in the rescue operation. Rescuers are accompanied by eight ambulances and several drones. In spite of all this, Professor Fouad Ejadi of Tehran University, while giving an idea about the reason for not finding the helicopter, said, “Maybe the accident was very serious or the place where the accident happened, there is no communication network. So the helicopter could not be found. We have to wait more.’

Raisi was returning by helicopter today after inaugurating a reservoir project in the border area of ​​Azerbaijan. Two other helicopters in the President’s fleet remained intact during the journey.

Iran’s Tasnim News reported that an emergency phone call from the helicopter reported the crash. The phone call was made by the officials accompanying the President in the helicopter. But the connection was disconnected before the end of the conversation.


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