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Helicopter carrying Iranian president suffers ‘hard landing’: state TV | News

DEVELOPING STORY,

Iranian state media says search operations are underway after an incident near Jolfa, in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province.

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi suffered a “hard landing”, state television reported, saying more details would follow soon as search operations were underway to find the helicopter.

Iranian state media said the incident occurred on Sunday near Jolfa, in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province.

The day before, Raisi was in neighboring Azerbaijan to inaugurate a dam alongside President Ilham Aliyev.

State-linked media said three helicopters were in the convoy and the other two returned safely.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the Iranian Supreme Leader’s representative in the province, are believed to be in the same helicopter as Raisi.

Energy Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian and Housing and Transport Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash were in the other helicopters that returned safely.

Iranian Ebrahim Raisi and Azerbaijani President
Raisi (left) and Aliyev of Azerbaijan visit the Qiz-Qalasi dam on the Azerbaijan-Iran border on May 19 (Iranian Presidency/WANA/Handout via Reuters)

People who were with the president on board the helicopter managed to make an emergency call, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Tasnim reported that the appeal increased hopes that the incident could end “without casualties.”

Rescue teams dispatched

Interior Minister Amir Vahidi told state television that various rescue teams were trying to reach the incident site, but it could take some time due to fog and poor conditions. meteorological.

He confirmed that radio contact had been made with the helicopter, but provided no further details and suggested that communication lines had been cut.

The government news site IRNA said the president’s helicopter was believed to have crashed in the Dizmar protected area, a forested and mountainous area.

There is no confirmation on the type of helicopter that transported the president and his team.

Iran operates a wide variety of helicopters, but decades of sanctions have made it difficult to buy new planes or obtain spare parts.

Most of the military aircraft currently in service in Iran date from before the 1979 revolution.

Reporting from the Iranian capital Tehran on Sunday, Al Jazeera’s Resul Serdar said that “the helicopters and planes used in Iran are quite obsolete.”

“That’s why such accidents are quite common in Iran,” he explained.

Serdar added that rescue teams could take hours to reach the accident site.

News Source : www.aljazeera.com
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