Iranian President’s helicopter involved in accident

An Iranian television report, cited by Reuters, has confirmed that a helicopter carrying President Ibrahim Raisi encountered an accident. The Tasnim International News Agency elaborated that the incident occurred in East Azerbaijan Province.

Reports indicate that some of President Raisi’s entourage aboard the helicopter were able to establish contact with their base, raising hopes that the incident may have occurred without any fatalities.

The presidential convoy comprised three helicopters. The other two helicopters, carrying several ministers and officials, safely reached their destinations.

Key figures onboard

It has been reported that Ayatollah Hashem, the Friday prayer leader of Tabriz, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were also on board the helicopter with President Raisi.

Rescue efforts underway

Rescue teams from the Red Crescent, along with military and police forces, have launched an extensive search operation to locate the helicopter. Local residents have reported that the helicopter’s status remains unknown due to the foggy conditions in the region.

The Iranian Interior Minister confirmed that the presidential helicopter experienced a hard landing and that adverse weather conditions have hindered rescue teams from reaching the crash site thus far.

Arrival of rescue teams

According to IRNA, a search and rescue team has now reached the site of the helicopter crash in the Varzeqan area. The team arrived approximately an hour after the crash was reported and has commenced search operations.

Sixteen rescue teams and a drone were dispatched to the region. However, due to the mountainous and forested terrain, along with poor weather conditions and heavy fog, the search and rescue mission is expected to be time-consuming. An emergency official stated that eight emergency ambulances have been sent from Tabriz to the crash site.

The head of the Iranian Red Crescent noted that 40 rapid intervention teams are involved in the search, highlighting the difficulties posed by aerial searches. Iranian state television broadcast prayers for the president’s safety on Sunday.

President’s life at risk

An Iranian official informed Reuters that President Raisi and the Foreign Minister’s lives are at risk following the helicopter accident. The official added, “We remain hopeful, but the information coming from the crash site is extremely concerning.”

National security meeting

In response to the incident, the Supreme National Security Council of Iran held an emergency meeting chaired by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Medical and military support

Iranian Health Minister announced that all medical facilities in the area are on standby, although poor weather conditions are hampering the search efforts. The Army Commander has ordered the deployment of all available resources from the army and the Revolutionary Guards to aid in the search.

Mountain climbers have also joined the rescue teams in their efforts to locate the president’s helicopter.

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