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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi feared dead as chopper found 'completely burned' in crash: Reports

The helicopter carrying Iran President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed on Sunday. The rescue teams reached the crash site in East Azerbaijan province on Monday morning where the "situation does not look good.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Tehran Updated on: May 20, 2024 9:58 IST
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian President dead, Ebrahim Raisi dead, Ebrahim Raisi crash
Image Source : AP Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

World News: A day after the helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian crashed on Sunday while flying over the mountainous northwest reaches of Iran, reports claimed that "no survivors" have been found at the crash site of the chopper. According to Iranian state news channel IRINN and semi-official news agency Mehr News, no one survived the crash which was initially described in the reports a day ago as 'hard landing'.

News agency Reuters reported that the helicopter was "completely burned in the crash" and everyone on-board are feared dead.

"President Raisi's helicopter was completely burned in the crash ... unfortunately, all passengers are feared dead," the official told news agency Reuters.

Search operation for President Raisi

Rescue teams fought blizzards and difficult terrain through the night to reach the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province in the early hours of Monday (May 20). “We can see the wreckage and the situation does not look good,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state TV.

The suspected helicopter wreckage was identified by a Turkish drone through a source of heat in the early hours of Monday. It shared the coordinates of the possible crash site with Iranian authorities, Reuters reported citing the Anadolu news agency.

State news agency IRNA reported that the Iranian President was flying in a US-made Bell 212 helicopter. Soon after the reports of crash surfaced, the chief of staff of Iran's army ordered all resources of the army and the elite Revolutionary Guards to be put to use in search and rescue operations.

Earlier, the national broadcaster had halted all regular programmes to show prayers being held for the President, who went missing yesterday, across the country.

In the early hours of Monday, it showed a rescue team, wearing bright jackets and head torches, huddled around a GPS device as they searched a pitch-black mountainside on foot in a blizzard.

(With inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | Ebrahim Raisi: Iran's 'death committee' President whose ill-fated helicopter crashes in bad weather

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