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An Iranian official described the helicopter crash in which Reisi died: The conditions were extremely normal and ordinary.

An Iranian official described the helicopter crash in which Reisi died: The conditions were extremely normal and ordinary.

22.05.2024 16:19

Gholam Hossein Ismaili, the Head of the Office of the President of Iran, described the events of the helicopter crash in which Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi lost his life. Ismaili, who said he was on one of the three helicopters carrying Iranian officials, stated, "The conditions were extremely normal and ordinary, and there was no difficult situation. The middle helicopter was carrying the President. Our pilot noticed that the main helicopter (carrying Raisi) was not beside us 30 seconds later."

The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Presidency, Gulam Hüseyin İsmaili, said that during the flight of 3 helicopters, including the one carrying the late President İbrahim Reisi, the "conditions" and the weather were "perfectly normal." President Reisi had attended the opening ceremony of a dam on the Iran-Azerbaijan border the day before and had died in a helicopter crash on the return journey. İsmaili, who made statements to the Iranian state channel IRIB, stated that he was on one of the 3 helicopters carrying Iranian officials, while President Reisi and his entourage were on another helicopter.



İsmaili stated that at the beginning of the flight, the weather was clear and they were heading towards Tabriz from the lower part of the dam. He mentioned that they had been flying for about half an hour in the area adjacent to the Songon Copper Mine when cloud formations occurred in the valley adjacent to the area where the route was located. İsmaili stated that the valley floor was foggy, but the weather was clear, saying, "There were clouds in a small area of this point, but in terms of flight altitude, we were at the same level as these clouds, even a little lower."



İsmaili stated that Mustafavi, the commander of the helicopter fleet and the pilot of the helicopter carrying Reisi, gave the command to the other helicopters to gain altitude and continue above the clouds. He said, "The helicopters ascended above the clouds. Ours was the number 3 helicopter. The middle helicopter was carrying the President. There was another helicopter in front. Our pilot realized that the main helicopter (carrying Reisi) was not next to us 30 seconds later. The conditions were perfectly normal and ordinary, and there was no difficult situation. There are vibrations even in some airway flights, but everything was normal on this route, and the clouds disappeared instantly. Later, we were in a sky without clouds below us, and we could see the ridge line of the mountains under our feet, and the Songun Copper Mine was very close."



İsmaili stated that the pilot of the helicopter carrying the President returned in order to search for the helicopter, and he asked the pilot why he was returning. He said, "We assume that one of the helicopters did not come and made an emergency landing because no matter how many calls we made, our radio communication was cut off and there was no response." İsmaili said, "The pilot said that we had radio communication 1 minute and 30 seconds ago." İsmaili stated that the helicopter circled over the area where it turned back, but they could not see the ground well due to the clouds, and said, "It was not possible to go under the cloud. After a few turns, we landed near the Songon mine."



İsmaili stated that he contacted Tebriz Friday Imam Muhammed Ali Al-i Haşim, who was in the same helicopter with Reisi, and asked where they were. He continued, "He said he was under the trees. When I asked if the other friends were okay, he said, 'I don't see anyone, I am alone, I don't understand what is happening, there is no one around me.' He said he was in a wooded area. It was immediately understood that the President's helicopter had crashed, and we immediately took action to reach the crash site as soon as possible and start rescue operations. There were suitable vehicles, necessary healthcare professionals, and ambulances at the copper mine. We took the healthcare personnel with us and went to the area where we thought the accident had occurred."



Ismaili said that he spoke with Haşim about three or four times and that their colleagues also frequently contacted him until 3-4 hours after the accident. He stated that Haşim answered the calls but his answers indicated that he was not in good condition and only showed that he was alive. Ismaili said that they later learned that the other passengers in the helicopter had "died instantly" and that the condition of the bodies indicated that they had died immediately after the accident.



President Reisi attended the opening ceremony of a dam on the Iran-Azerbaijan border on May 19. Reisi, along with Foreign Minister Hüseyin Emir Abdullahiyan and some officials, had a helicopter crash on the return journey. Upon Iran's request, Turkey assigned the Akıncı unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for search and rescue operations. The coordinates of the helicopter wreckage detected by the Akıncı UAV were shared with Iranian authorities.



The Iranian teams that reached the identified location determined that there were no survivors from the crash. After the confirmation of Reisi's death, Muhammad Muhbir was appointed as the Acting President. According to the Iranian Constitution, the presidential election, which must be held within a maximum of 50 days, will take place on June 28. In Iran, presidents are elected by the people from among the candidates approved by the Guardian Council.



 
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