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Red Crescent head says 'no sign of life' at 'crash scene' of Iran president's helicopter

来源:ABC News 作者: 时间:2024-05-20 Tag: 点击:

There is "no sign of life" at the crash scene of the helicopter that was carrying Iran's president, the head of Iran's Red Crescent, Hossein Kolivand, told state media early Monday morning.

The Red Crescent confirmed early Monday it had located the missing helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi that made a "hard landing" Sunday in foggy conditions. The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs was also on the helicopter.

"The president's helicopter has been found," the head of Iran’s Red Crescent said to state TV. "We can see the helicopter and we are moving towards the place. We have no details. Let us get on top of the helicopter to announce the details. We are about 2 km away from the helicopter."

"Things are not good here,” he said after being asked if they could see signs of a crash or burn. But, he also said he wasn't at the helicopter yet.

Search and rescue operations were launched not long after the incident happened, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

Two hot spots were identified in the village of Tawal by a Turkish drone sent to help with rescue efforts, IRNA, Iran’s state news agency, reported early Monday local time.

Red Crescent rescue teams began "moving towards the possible landing place of the helicopter," IRNA reported earlier.

“Currently, there are 73 rescue teams in the search area for the helicopter in the Tawal village, of which 23 Red Crescent teams (detector dogs) have been sent from Tehran and neighboring provinces to the accident area along with advanced and specialized equipment,” IRNA reported.

The weather in the area is still bad, the emergency teams reported.

“The weather conditions in the area are foggy and rainy, and the search operation is conducted despite the difficult conditions and reduced visibility in the area,” the Red Crescent National Emergency Management Headquarters said.

The 63-year-old Raisi was traveling with Iran's minister of foreign affairs, Hossein Amirabdollahian, and other officials when their helicopter made a "hard landing," Iranian media reported. There was no immediate word on whether there were any injuries or the condition of the aircraft.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the Iranian president's helicopter incident, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The State Department is closely following reports of the incident, according to a spokesperson.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier he was sending 50 rescuers, two planes and one helicopter to Iran to help in the search, TASS, a Russian news service, reported late Sunday.

According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, the country has sent an Akinci UAV and a Cougar-type helicopter with night vision capability to help with search and rescue operations.

The incident unfolded in the mountainous area of ​​Kalibar and Warzghan in central Iran.


Earlier, one of the president's relatives told the Fars News Agency that the helicopter was forced to land due to foggy weather.

In an appearance on state TV, Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi confirmed that the president's helicopter made a "rough landing."

Later Sunday, a spokesperson for the Iranian government described the helicopter incident as an "accident."

"We are experiencing difficult and complicated conditions. It is the right of the people and the media to be aware of the latest news about the president's helicopter accident, but according to the coordinates of the accident site and the weather conditions, there is 'no' new news until now. In these moments, patience, prayer and trust in relief groups are the way forward," the government spokesperson said.

The first reports of trouble with Raisi's helicopter, one of three in a convoy carrying the Iranian officials, began to circulate on state-affiliated media around 3:45 p.m. local time, or 8:15 a.m. ET.

The weather conditions have also seriously hampered the search conditions, according to the head of the Iranian Red Crescent

Forty search-and-rescue teams had been sent to the area, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent announced to state media. Though search-and-rescue aircraft were also sent to the area, weather conditions have prevented them from flying, according to the Red Crescent.

Vahidi said Raisi was in the area to help open the Khoda Afarin and the Qiz Qalasi dams near Azerbaijan and was returning home from the journey when the incident occurred.

"One of the helicopters was forced to make a rough landing due to bad weather conditions and fog in the area," Vahidi said.

Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan who was at the dedication of the dams Sunday with Raisi, offered assistance from his country in locating the helicopter.

"Today, after bidding a friendly farewell to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran," Aliyev said in a post on the social media site X. "Our prayers to Allah Almighty are with President Ebrahim Raisi and the accompanying delegation. As a neighbor, friend and brotherly country, the Republic of Azerbaijan stands ready to offer any assistance needed."

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran, also issued a statement asking people to pray that Raisi and the others are found safe.

"We hope that Almighty God will return the respected and honorable president and his companions to the arms of the nation," Khamenei said. "Everyone should pray for the health of this group of servants."





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