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Iran President’s helicopter crash: Teams mobilised after Turkish drone locate heat source

Heat spot of accident site spotted by Turkish Drone (Photo: @anadoluagency)

Iranian authorities on Monday moved the rescue teams towards the crashed chopper carrying Ebrahim Raisi after a Turkish drone Akinci identified a heat source in the accident region, Iran-based news network Press TV reported.

According to Turkish News agency Anadolu, an Akinci UAV identified a source of heat suspected to be the wreckage of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Raisi and shared its coordinates with Iranian authorities

Hoping to locate the crash site, Iranian authorities had also dispatched forces to the place where rescue teams reported the smell of fuel, Iran-based Press TV reported.

But later on, Tasnim News reported that the smell of car fuel was mistaken for helicopter fuel. Additionally, Russian search and rescue planes are en route to the Iranian northwestern city of Tabriz.

The head of the Red Crescent Society said, “The smell of fuel was the smell of the cars themselves, and our colleagues mistook the smell of the fuel of the cars with the smell of the helicopter fuel!”

Iran Red Crescent said that over 70 search and rescue teams were present near the site of President Raeisi’s copter crash.

Iran requested assistance from Turkey in the search for the Iranian President’s helicopter, CNN reported, citing the Turkish disaster and emergency management ministry. Iran requested a night vision search and rescue helicopter, the ministry said.

Turkey sent six vehicles and 32 mountaineer search and rescue personnel to Iran, according to the ministry.

Nine people were on the helicopter that crashed in northwest Iran on Sunday, including three officials, an imam, and flight and security team members, as reported by Tasnim news.

The IRGC-run media outlet, Sepah, reported the nine included: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian; Governor of Eastern Azerbaijan province Malek Rahmati, Tabriz’s friday prayer Imam Mohammad Ali Alehashem as well as a pilot, copilot, crew chief, head of security and another bodyguard.

After the reported crash of President Raisi’s helicopter, several countries have come forward to help in the ongoing search operations.

Russia has announced that it will send special aircraft and 50 professional mountain rescuers to the site in northern Iran where a helicopter crashed on Sunday, CNN reported, citing Iranian state news agency IRNA.

Meanwhile, people in Iran have come together in prayer for the well-being of President Raeisi. Prayer vigils were organized in mosques and shrines across the nation, with gatherings in the holy city of Mashhad, President Raeisi’s birthplace, drawing thousands of people, reported Press TV Iran.