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Helicopter that crashed in Iran was carrying nine people, including the country's president

Nine people were on the helicopter that made a forced landing in northwestern Iran this Sunday (19), including authorities, members of the flight and security team, Iranian newspaper Tasnim News reported.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard-run media outlet reported that the passengers included:

  • Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian;
  • the governor of Azerbaijan's eastern province, Malek Rahmati;
  • the Tabriz Friday prayer leader, Imam Mohammad Ali Alehashem;
  • as well as pilot, co-pilot, crew chief, head of security and another bodyguard.

Searches

The search has been going on for more than 12 hours since the helicopter made a forced landing.

Authorities in the country reported through state media that they received telephone signals and from the helicopter itself that indicate the exact location of the passengers.

However, the extreme cold and fog make the rescue operation very difficult.

Rescuers face strong winds and temperatures around 10°C. However, it is difficult to obtain accurate data from the mountain region where the case occurred. According to meteorologists from CNN, temperatures can be negative.

More than 20 teams, including the Red Cross of Iran and Azerbaijan, the Iranian army, mountaineers and drones are searching the area.

Turkey said it would send helicopters with night vision to assist in the operation during the night. Russia provided more than 50 rescuers and a plane to help teams at the scene.

Iran also said it had managed to contact two people who were aboard the same aircraft as the president hours after the crash.

Three helicopters were flying the same route before two lost contact with Raisi's helicopter.

Even with communication, the real seriousness of the incident nor the health status of the passengers is still unknown.

Source: CNN Brasil

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