Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian die in helicopter crash: Report

 

Iran: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian have been declared dead after the helicopter carrying him and his foreign minister crashed on Sunday, reported Reuters, citing Iranian officials.

The rescuers, over 12 hours later, found the wreckage of the helicopter on Monday morning, however, the local media reported that ‘no sign of life’ has been detected at the crashed site.

According to Reuters, the helicopter that was carrying the Iranian President and other higher officials was found completely burned in a forest on Monday.

The report said that rescue teams fought blizzards and difficult terrain through the night to reach the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province early Monday.

Iranian Red Crescent Society chief Pir Hossein Kolivand told media that the rescuers saw the helicopter from a distance of some 2 kilometres (1.25 miles) on Monday morning.

He said, “We can see the wreckage, and the situation does not look good”.

The Red Crescent chief added, “No signs of life have been detected among the helicopter’s passengers.”

The incident happened on the way back from a visit to Iran’s East Azerbaijan province after the two nations inaugurated a dam in the region. The dam is the third one they built on the Aras River.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs.

Several global leaders expressed concern over the helicopter crash and offered to help in the rescue operations. Countries including Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia, Turkey, and the European Union offered their help. The EU also activated its rapid response mapping service to aid in the search effort.

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