Iran: President's helicopter suffers 'hard landing'

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was involved in an "accident" in the north of the country. Rescue and relief teams have been dispatched to the area, according to state media.

iran: president's helicopter suffers 'hard landing'

Iran's Interior Minister said that President Raisi and several other officials were on board the affected helicopter

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi made a "hard landing" on Sunday, Iran's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said.

The incident took place in the city of Jolfa in Iran's northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, Vahidi added, following earlier reports on state media.

Jolfa is located about 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran, on the border with Azerbaijan.

What do we know about the passengers?

The helicopter was carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati and several other passengers, state media reported.

According to the state news agency IRNA, rescue and relief teams have been dispatched to the area and search operations are continuing. However, foggy weather and the inaccessibility of the area have hampered search efforts.

The semi-official Fars news agency called on Iranians to pray for Raisi following the reports.

Raisi was in Azerbaijan early Sunday to inaugurate a dam with the neighboring country's president, Ilham Aliyev. The dam is the third built by the two nations on the Aras River.

dh/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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