Iran President’s helicopter crashes, rescue operations ongoing

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The status of the Iranian President remains unclear as of the time of this report.

Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, has been involved in a helicopter accident.

According to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, the incident occurred on Sunday, May 19, 2024, while Raisi was visiting neighbouring Azerbaijan.

“Some of the president’s companions on this helicopter were able to communicate with Central Headquarters, raising hopes that the incident could have ended without casualties,” the agency reported.

The status of the Iranian President and the people on board the helicopter remains unclear as of the time of this report.

State media, IRNA, reported that the helicopter was part of a convoy of three. The two other helicopters were carrying ministers and officials who arrived safely at their destination.

Those on board the ill-fated helicopter include Hossein Amirabdollahian, foreign minister; Malek Rahmati, governor of East Azerbaijan province; and Hojjatoleslam Al Hashem, Tabriz Friday prayer leader.

Raisi was reportedly on his way back from a ceremony to open a dan on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan when the helicopter crash-landed in Varzaqan, the northwestern part of the country.

Multiple reports say search and rescue operations are ongoing to recover the helicopter debris and the people on board.

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