Iran: President Raeisi’s Helicopter Makes ‘Hard Landing’ in NW Iran

Local residents told IRNA's reporter that they heard "sounds" in the region a while ago.

1 min read
[Helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi]

Photos and videos have emerged showing the final moments of the helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi before it crashed. In response to the incident, the Iranian government has convened an emergency meeting to address the situation. Rescue teams have reached the crash site, and the first reports on the state of President Raisi and the Foreign Minister are expected shortly.

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Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has confirmed that a helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raeisi made a hard landing in the city of Jolfa, in the northwestern Iranian province of East Azarbaijan. The incident occurred on Sunday in the rugged Dizmar forest between the cities of Varzaqan and Jolfa as the president was returning from an event with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

The helicopter, transporting President Raeisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, and several other passengers, encountered severe difficulties due to adverse weather conditions. The aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing near Jolfa, a city close to the Azerbaijan border.

Rescue teams reached the area an hour after the incident and commenced search operations. However, their efforts were significantly hampered by heavy fog and challenging terrain. The Iranian Red Crescent Society has deployed drone units to assist with the emergency operation, alongside more than twenty fully-equipped search and rescue teams, including sniffer dogs.

Local residents reported hearing unusual sounds prior to the incident, raising initial alerts. Despite the challenging conditions, two other helicopters carrying ministers and officials managed to reach their destination safely.

The file photo taken by the Iranian Presidential Office shows President Ebrahim Raisi visiting Firoozkouh after floods on July 31, 2022.

President Raeisi had been in Azerbaijan earlier to inaugurate a dam on the Aras River with President Ilham Aliyev. The return journey was abruptly interrupted by the emergency landing.

The Iranian Armed Forces have dispatched commando units and Special Forces to bolster the search and rescue efforts. Babak Yektaparast, a spokesperson for Iran’s Emergency Services, stated that eight ambulances and emergency medical teams, including technicians and doctors, were immediately deployed. An emergency helicopter was also sent but had to turn back due to the inability to land in the thick fog.

Authorities are closely monitoring the situation, and the search and rescue operation is expected to take time due to the severe weather conditions. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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