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Iran’s President Raisi, Foreign Minister die in helicopter crash, Iranian media reports

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian have died in a helicopter crash, the Iranian government’s semi-official news agency, Mehr News Agency, said on Monday.

However, there has been no official confirmation of this.

The Iranian president, the foreign minister and the governor of East Azerbaijan province, Malek Rahmati, among others aboard the helicopter, have been “martyred”, the Mehr news agency reported today.

There is still no official confirmation that Raisi has died, but doctors have said they found “no sign” of life at the crash site.

The crash site of the helicopter carrying President Raisi was found in wooded mountains this morning.

Drone footage shared by Iranian state news agency IRNA shows the wreckage of President Raisi’s helicopter. The footage was shot by the Red Crescent

This debris was found on the road from Khoylar village to Kelem.

Tasnim news agency reported from Varzakan that after the possible coordinates of the crash site were announced, rescue teams immediately went to the designated location, but there was no sign of the helicopter.

The search operation continued even after daybreak on the Khoylar to Kelem road.

The rescue team then noticed the helicopter’s blades and wings on a hill and immediately changed course towards the hill.

The Iranian Red Crescent chief highlighted that, according to videos from rescue teams, the entire cabin of the helicopter was significantly damaged and burned, adding that there were no signs of survivors at the site.

According to Iran-based Press TV, as Iranian rescue teams located Raisi’s helicopter, there was no sign of any survivors of the crash.

He did not give further details, but said “the situation is not good”, state news agency IRNA reported. “73 rescue teams with advanced and specialized equipment are present in the helicopter search area in Tawal village,” he said.

Raisi was returning to Iran after a visit to Azerbaijan when his helicopter crashed due to bad weather on Sunday afternoon.

The helicopter, which crashed in northwestern Iran on Sunday, was carrying nine people, including three officers, an imam and members of the flight and security team, Tasnim News reported.

Sepah, an IRGC-run media outlet, reported that the nine included: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian; East Azerbaijan Province Governor Malek Rahmati, Tabriz’s Friday prayer Imam Mohammad Ali Alehashem, along with a pilot, co-pilot, crew chief, security chief and another bodyguard.

Iran is going through such a situation for the first time. According to Al Jazeera report, the country has never seen an incident like the disappearance of the President and the Foreign Minister in a helicopter crash.

The incident attracted global attention and foreign countries helped in the search operation. The Turks sent their drones and the Russians sent their equipment, while global leaders and the people of Iran prayed for the Iranian President and others on board the plane.

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