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Thick fog is hampering efforts to find the Iranian president after a reported helicopter crash

EAST AZERBAIJAN PROVINCE, Iran – Rescue teams search for the helicopter with Iranian President Seyyed on board Ebrahim Raisi after it reportedly crashed amid heavy fog on Sunday.

The president and the foreign minister flew through the mountains in the northwest of the country after an inauguration of the dam together with the president of Azerbaijan.

The spokesman for Iran’s emergency services said the fog made air rescue attempts “impossible.” The remote rugged terrain in the mountainous area near the country’s border with Azerbaijan has delayed the 46 rescue teams, eight ambulances, drones and sniffer dogs. Local media also reported heavy rains and cold temperatures in the area.

The interior minister confirmed on state television that one of the helicopters in the president’s convoy was forced to make a “hard landing.”

This photo provided by the Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA on May 19, 2024 shows the helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi taking off at Iran's border with Azerbaijan after the inauguration of the Qiz Qalasi dam in Aras.  This involved a helicopter from the Iranian president's convoy "an accident" in East Azerbaijan province on May 19, state television reported, without specifying whether the president was on board.

“Several rescue groups are on their way to the site, but due to fog and bad weather it may take some time to reach the area,” Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said. ‘There have been contacts with [the president’s] companions, but since the area is mountainous and it is difficult to establish contacts, we hope that the rescue teams will reach the incident site sooner and give us more information.”

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There are no reports on the president’s condition. But an unnamed official told Reuters the president’s life was “in danger” and “we are still hopeful, but the information coming from the crash site is very concerning.”

Due to heavy fog, the Iranian president's helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing, which local media reported as a crash.Due to heavy fog, the Iranian president's helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing, which local media reported as a crash.

Due to heavy fog, the Iranian president’s helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing, which local media reported as a crash.

“Two of the passengers of this flight communicated with rescue services, meaning the accident was probably of minor severity,” Iran’s Vice President for Executive Affairs said in a statement.

Emergency medical teams of doctors were immediately dispatched to the site after the crash was reported.

In this handout image provided by the Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as they inaugurate the Qiz Qalasi Dam, built on the Aras River on the joint border between Iran and Azerbaijan.  after which his helicopter reportedly crashed on May 19, 2024 in Jabrayil, Azerbaijan near the town of Jolfa, on the border with Azerbaijan.In this handout image provided by the Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as they inaugurate the Qiz Qalasi Dam, built on the Aras River on the joint border between Iran and Azerbaijan.  after which his helicopter reportedly crashed on May 19, 2024 in Jabrayil, Azerbaijan near the town of Jolfa, on the border with Azerbaijan.

Source of original article: Thick fog is hampering efforts to find the Iranian president after a reported helicopter crash

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