Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Iranian President missing after helicopter crash

20 May 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • President Raisi was returning from a dam opening ceremony in Azerbaijan
  • Conflicting reports over helicopter being found   

A  helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and senior officials  in northwestern Iran has suffered a crash with no information available  yet on potential injuries or damage, the Iranian media reported. 

  • Rescue and relief teams have been dispatched to the area and search operations continue

Search  operations, hampered by fog, challenging terrain and heavy rain, were  going on by the time this edition went to print last night.

According  to the Iranian media, President Raisi was returning from a ceremony to  open a dam on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan when his helicopter crashed  upon landing in Varzaqan region on Sunday. Conflicting reports have emerged with some suggesting the crashed helicopter has been found.

Foreign Minister  Hossein Amirabdollahian, Governor of East Azarbaijan Province Malek  Rahmati, Tabriz Friday prayer leader Hojjatoleslam Al Hashem and a  number of others were also on board the helicopter. 

IRNA correspondent says rescue and relief teams have been dispatched to the area and search operations continue. 

Foggy weather and the impassability of the area have made the search operations difficult.

Interior  Minister Ahmad Vahidi told Iran’s state television that due to the  tough weather conditions, it may take time for the search and rescue  team to reach the site of the crash. 

Minister of  Health Bahram Einollahi, who is also present in the area, has said that  all the medical equipment, including ambulance buses, specialist doctors  and surgeons have been dispatched to the area of the crash to help  possible injured people.The world leaders started wishing for the  well-being of the Iranian people during this difficult time. On behalf of  Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and former President Mahinda  Rajapaksa took to X and expressed solidarity with the Iranian people. 

The  Iranian leader visited Sri Lanka for the inauguration of a  hydropower and irrigation project in Sri Lanka last month. The project  is seen as an Iranian engineering marvel. 

He was the first Iranian leader to visit Sri Lanka since former President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad visited the country in 2008.