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HomeWorldIranIranian President Raisi's Helicopter Crashes: Rescue Efforts Underway Amid Severe Weather

Iranian President Raisi’s Helicopter Crashes: Rescue Efforts Underway Amid Severe Weather

Unexpectedly, a helicopter transporting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian experienced a collision on Sunday. According to an Iranian official who spoke to Reuters, the incident took place while the chopper was maneuvering across steep terrain in dense fog. Current bad weather conditions are impeding the rescue crews’ efforts to reach the disaster scene.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, informed Reuters that the lives of Raisi and Amirabdollahian are in danger as a result of the helicopter crash. The collision occurred while they were traveling back from a trip to the border region between Iran and Azerbaijan in the northwest of Iran. The official indicated apprehension but maintained optimism, notwithstanding the disconcerting information from the crash site.

According to state media, rescuers have made touch with at least one passenger and one crew member. Anadolu news agency reported that a Turkish drone detected a heat source believed to be the wreckage of the chopper and shared the coordinates with Iranian authorities.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, provided reassurance to the population by affirming that the functioning of the state would remain uninterrupted. The crash has been ascribed to inclement weather, which is concurrently impeding rescue operations. Iranian state media IRNA verified that President Raisi was traveling on a Bell 212 helicopter manufactured in the United States.

The chief of staff of Iran’s army has instructed the utilization of all accessible assets, including those of the esteemed Revolutionary Guards, to aid in the search and rescue operations. Prior to this, national broadcasters suspended their usual programming to broadcast the prayers conducted nationwide in honor of President Raisi.

During the early morning hours of Monday, search and rescue personnel were observed donning vibrant jackets and head lamps while combing through the snow-covered and foggy mountainside. “We are conducting a comprehensive search of the entire vicinity of the crash,” stated a regional military commander in an interview with state media. The region experiences frigid temperatures, frequent rainfall, and dense fog. The precipitation is transitioning from rain to snow in a gradual manner.

Adjacent nations have conveyed their apprehension and extended aid in the endeavors to save lives. The White House verified that U.S. President Joe Biden had received a detailed report on the situation. Turkey has deployed a drone, a helicopter, cars, and a rescue crew in response to a request from Iranian officials. The European Union has provided emergency satellite mapping equipment to assist in the hunt.

This episode arises amidst escalating opposition throughout Iran on a range of political, social, and economic matters. President Raisi, who assumed office in 2021, has encountered substantial obstacles, such as the global scrutiny around Iran’s nuclear program and its increasingly close military alliance with Russia. The collision has the potential to significantly aggravate the already strained political situation in Iran.

President Raisi visited the Azerbaijani border to officially open the Qiz-Qalasi Dam, which is a collaborative initiative. President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, who had previously held a meeting with Raisi earlier in the day, has extended his support in the ongoing rescue operations. Rescue crews persist with their strenuous efforts, while the global community observes, anticipating a favorable result.

Source : https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-launches-strikes-across-gaza-us-envoy-visits-region-2024-05-19/

(The story is published based on the data from a syndicated feed. However there can be minor changes from the original source article.)

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