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From Ebrahim Raisi to Ramon Magsaysay, here is a list of heads of states who died due to plane crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash. However, he was not the first one who was killed in a plane crash. There is a lengthy list.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Published on: May 20, 2024 21:03 IST
Iran President Ebrahim Raisi
Image Source : AP Supporters mourning death of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed after his helicopter crashed in poor weather in the mountains near the Azerbaijan border.

The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew was found early on Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions. However, he was not the first one who was killed in a fatal aircraft crash. The list is lengthy. 

General Zia-ul-Haq (1924-1988): The sixth president of Pakistan, perished in a plane crash near Bahawalpur, Pakistan. The circumstances surrounding the crash remain contentious, with speculation ranging from mechanical failure to sabotage and conspiracy theories.

Lech Kaczynski (2010): The president of Poland, met his demise in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, alongside numerous high-ranking Polish officials. The tragedy struck as the delegation was en route to mark the Katyn slaughter- a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia prisoners of war carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD in April and May 1940.

Ramon Magsaysay (1957): The seventh president of the Philippines, lost his life in a plane crash on Mount Manunggal in Cebu. Renowned for his staunch anti-communist stance and commitment to democracy, Magsaysay's death was a significant loss to the nation. The crash also killed 25 others in his party. One passenger on the ill-fated plane, a Filipino newspaperman, miraculously survived. He was brought out by farmers.

Juvenal Habyarimana (1994): Cyprien Ntaryamira (1955-1994), the president of Rwanda, and the president of Burundi, were both killed after their plane was shot down while preparing to land in Kigali. This triggered the Rwandan genocide.

Samora Machel (1986): The Mozambique President was killed in a plane crash near the Mozambican-South African border. However, until now, the main reason for the crash remains contentious. Some alleged that the South African government was involved in the killing.

Hafez al-Assad (2000): The Syrian President was killed in a plane crash near the country's capital, Damascus. However, the occurrences encircling the crash are shrouded in puzzle, with the assumption of foul play. According to the official attribution of Assad's death, he died due to a heart attack suffered while piloting the aircraft.

Leon M'ba (1967): The first president of Gabon was killed after his plane crashed off the coast of Gabon. His killing was marked as a significant loss for the nation.

Ibrahim Nasir (2008): The Maldives President died in a helicopter crash while on a private visit to an uninhabited island of the island nation. 

Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjold (1961): He was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 10 April 1953 until 18 September 1961 when he died in a plane crash while on a peace mission in the Congo.

Also Read: VIDEO: First visual of bodies transferred from helicopter crash site where Iranian President Raisi dies


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