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Iranian president’s helicopter suffers crash landing, rescue underway

(NBC, KYMA/KECY) - A helicopter with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran's foreign minister, and others on board suffered a "crash landing" earlier Sunday afternoon.

At least 40 rescue teams, including drones and search dogs, have been deployed, but harsh weather and heavy fog are complicating rescue efforts in the mountainous terrain.

Rescue teams have rushed to the site in northwest Iran. Iranian authorities say they've been in contact with two people at the crash site.

Iranian State Television says searchers have pinpointed the area where a helicopter carrying Raisi and the country's foreign minister went down Sunday afternoon.

It happened in a mountainous area in the northwest part of Iran as the group was returning from an event at the border with Azerbaijan.

Video showed rescuers in heavy fog looking for the site where the chopper made what's been described as a "hard landing." The nation's interior minister says restricted visibility because of the weather caused the crash.

Hardliners called for Iranians to pray for the missing president, and state run media showed groups holding vigils across the country.

The ayatollah said, "There will be no disturbances for our country's affairs."

As tensions rise between Israel and Iran, the incident marks another dangerous moment in the Middle East.

"The whole situation in the Middle East esspecially surrounding Iran is very tense right now, so lets let cooler heads prevail," said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) with the Armed Services Committee.

Iran's continued support for the militants group Hamas demonstrated again Sunday night as one of the group's leaders called for prayers.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer says U.S. intelligence assessments show no signs of foul play.

President Biden is being kept up to date on the situation.

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Dillon Fuhrman

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Karina Bazarte

Karina Bazarte joined the KYMA team as a reporter in September 2022.
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