NewsHelicopter crash in Iran: President Raisi and Ministers at risk

Helicopter crash in Iran: President Raisi and Ministers at risk

President Ebrahim Raisi
President Ebrahim Raisi

2:03 PM EDT, May 19, 2024

An Iranian official told Reuters that the lives of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian are "at risk." A helicopter carrying the politicians was forced to make a "hard landing" in northwestern Iran. A search for the aircraft is ongoing.

Raisi and other officials participated in a ceremony to launch a dam on the Aras River. The Iranian politician met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev there.

Raisi, Foreign Minister Abdollahian, the governor of East Azerbaijan Province, and several clerics were supposed to fly by helicopter to Tazbir. However, the aircraft made a "hard landing" near the Sungun copper mine.

The health status of the passengers is unknown. A search for the helicopter is underway. The operation is challenging due to the terrain and weather conditions. Visibility is limited because of thick fog. Vehicles cannot operate on the rocky and forested terrain, so rescuers move on foot.

Media reports indicate that the region's temperature is dropping, and it has started to rain. Some experts also point out that dangerous animals, such as bears, inhabit the area where the accident occurred.

Raisi's life "at risk"

According to an Iranian official in a conversation with Reuters, Raisi and Abdollahian's lives are "at risk after the helicopter crash."

"We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning," he said.

The Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff stated that the army would use all its resources in the rescue operation. The Minister of Health emphasized that nearby medical facilities are ready to receive any potential injured individuals.

Iranian media reports from places of worship where Iranians pray for Raisi's health. An appeal for prayer has appeared on the president's official social media profile.

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