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Iran’s military says Raisi’s helicopter caught fire soon after crash and there was no sign of attack

May 24, 2024  By The Associated Press


In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, flag-draped coffins of the President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions who were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, during their funeral ceremony in the city of Mashhad, Iran, Thursday, May 23, 2024. Iran on Thursday prepared to inter its late president at the holiest site for Shiite Muslims in the Islamic Republic, a final sign of respect for a protégé of Iran's supreme leader killed in a helicopter crash earlier this week. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The helicopter carrying Iran’s late President Ebrahim Raisi caught fire soon after it crashed into a mountain and there was no sign it was attacked, state media reported, citing the military’s crash investigators.

The statement from the general staff of the armed forces in charge of investigating the crash was read on state television late Thursday. The first statement on the crash did not lay blame but said more details would come after further investigation.

The crash Sunday killed Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and six other people.

The general staff’s statement said the communications between the control tower and the crew of the helicopter before the crash contained nothing suspicious. It said the last communication of the crashed helicopter was between it and two helicopters accompanying it some 90 seconds before the crash.

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There was no sign of anything shot at the helicopter and its flight path did not change, the statement said.

The aging Bell helicopter went down in a foggy, remote mountainous region of Iran’s northwest on Sunday. The crash site was discovered Monday morning with all eight on board dead.

Raisi was buried in a tomb at the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad on Thursday.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2023

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