Helicopter Carrying Iran’s President Raisi Crashes in Remote Area

Helicopter Carrying Iran's President Raisi Crashes in Remote Area

Rescuers found the helicopter: Rescuers on Monday found a helicopter that was carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and other officials that had apparently crashed in the mountainous northwest reaches of Iran the day before, though “no sign of life” was detected, state media reported.

Crash site spotted: As the sun rose Monday, rescuers saw the helicopter from a distance of some 2 kilometers (1.25 miles), the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Pir Hossein Kolivand, told state media. He did not elaborate and the officials had been missing at that point by over 12 hours.

Helicopter was carrying nine people: Nine people were onboard the helicopter, including three officials, an imam and flight and security team members, including President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian; Governor of Eastern Azerbaijan province Malek Rahmati, Tabriz’s Friday prayer Imam Mohammad Ali Alehashem as well as a pilot, copilot, crew chief, head of security and another bodyguard.

Crash happened in a remote part of the country: Raisi was traveling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. State TV said what it called a “hard landing” happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran. Later, state TV put it farther east near the village of Uzi, but details remained contradictory.

China is willing to provide assistance: China said it was deeply concerned over the “hard landing” of the helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, according to a statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The statement adds it hopes Raisi and the others aboard are safe and sound.