Details of Raisi’s Helicopter Crash Revealed

Wed May 22 2024
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TEHRAN: Iran’s presidential chief of staff has disclosed more details regarding a helicopter crash in northwest of the country over the weekend which led to the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in the province of East Azerbaijan.

Iran’s presidential chief of staff Gholamhossein Esmaili told Iran’s state-run TV that weather conditions in Varzaqan region, where Raisi’s copter crashed, was perfect at the start and during most of the flight that took place a day earlier.

Gholamhossein Esmaili was in one of the three helicopters that were returning from a dam inauguration ceremony on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan.

He stated that the helicopters had taken off at around 1:00 p.m. local time on May 19 while weather condition in the region was normal.

Following 45 minutes into the flight, the pilot of Raisi’s helicopter who was in charge of the convoy, ordered other helicopters to increase altitude to avoid a nearby cloud. He added that the president’s helicopter, which was flying between the two others, abruptly disappeared.

Esmaili said that following 30 seconds of flying over the clouds, their pilot noticed that the helicopter in the middle had disappeared, saying that the pilot decided to circle and return to search for the Raisi’s helicopter.

He said that after several attempts to contact helicopter of president through radio devices, and while it was unable to decrease altitude due to the clouds, their helicopter continued its flight and landed at a nearby copper mine.

He stated that foreign minister Amirabdollahian and head of president’s protection unit didn’t answer to repeated calls afterwards.

He said, however, that pilots of the two other helicopters had contacted Captain Mostafavi, who was in charge of Raisi’s helicopter, but the one who took the call was Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, whose situation was not good but said the copter had crashed into a valley.

He added that he (Esmaili) himself made a second contact with Ale-Hashem and received the same responses about the situation.

“When we found the site of the accident, the conditions of the bodies indicated that Raisi and other companions had passed away instantly but Ale-Hashem had died after several hours,” he further said.

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