Western Sources: Iranian President Did Not Survive Helicopter Crash

By Arutz-7
Posted on 05/19/24 | News Source: Arutz-7

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was involved in an accident on Sunday.

Iranian State broadcaster Tasnim reported that the president was on board the helicopter when it was involved in an accident in the East Azerbaijan province in northwest Iran.

Live updates:

6:05: An Iranian official has told iranina helicopter crashReuters that "the lives of Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian are at risk following the helicopter crash. We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning."

6:00 p.m.: Western sources say that they now estimate that President Raisi did not survive the crash. A US State Department spokesperson told CBS News that the US is "closely following reports of a possible hard landing of a helicopter in Iran carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister. We have no further comment at this time."

5:30 p.m.: An Iranian Red Crescent official told the Iranian Students News Agency that search and rescue dogs, drones, and rescue teams have been sent to the place and the search is continuing, but so far no helicopter or traces of it have been found.

5:19 p.m.: Iranian semi-official news agency Tasnim reported that Minister of Energy Ali Akbar Mehrabian and Minister of Transport Mehrdad Bazrpash Bazarpash who were present in other helicopters, had reached their destination safely.

4:45 p.m. Iranian Minister of Interior Ahmad Vahidi confirmed: "Today, we had the opening of the Qiz Qalasi Dam in the presence of the President of Azerbaijan, and after that, the President and his entourage were on the way back with several helicopters, one of which crashed due to bad weather."

He added: "Rescue teams were sent to the area, but due to the foggy and inhospitable nature of the area, it may take time to reach the helicopter."

According to the Minister: "We have communicated with the president's companions, but because the area is complicated, some communication is difficult and we are waiting for the rescue teams to reach the area of ​​the accident and helicopter landing and give us information."

4:29 p.m.: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps affiliated Fars news agency as well as several other sources reported that communications with the pilots were lost.

4:00 p.m.: According to Tasnim, Red Crescent rescue forces and military and police auxiliary forces had begun a massive operation to find the helicopter.

According to the report, the convoy consisted of three helicopters, with the helicopter also carrying Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

According to the state broadcaster, individuals who were on the aircraft made contact after the incident, noting that the hope that the incident ended without loss of life has increased.

Islamic Republic News Agency, another regime affiliate, referred to the incident as a "hard landing."