Update: Iran President, Raisi, 8 Others Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash

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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian have died in a helicopter crash.

AlJazeera reports that a total of nine people, including a provincial governor, were on board when the aircraft went down in northern Iran’s East Azerbaijan province.

The Iran Red Crescent has now confirmed it has located all the bodies in helicopter crash that killed the president and foreign minister.

As the country mourns, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says there will be no disruptions to how Iran is run.

Iran’s vice president, Muhammad Mukhbar will assume the powers of the presidency and new elections will be held within 50 days.

Countries across the region express solidarity with Iran.

What do we know about the crashed helicopter?

Here are some facts about the US-manufactured Bell 212 helicopter:

Bell Helicopter (now Bell Textron) developed the aircraft in the late 1960s as an upgrade of the original UH-1 Iroquois for the Canadian military.

The new design used two turboshaft engines instead of one, giving it greater carrying capacity.

According to US military training documents, the helicopter was introduced in 1971 and quickly adopted by both the United States and Canada.

The craft is designed to carry aerial firefighting gear and cargo and to mount weapons.

This particular helicopter had been reconfigured to carry 15 people, including a pilot.

Sanctions have made it difficult for Iran to obtain parts or new aircraft.

The most recent fatal crash of a Bell 212 was in September 2023, when a privately operated aircraft crashed off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to the Flight Safety Foundation, a non-profit focusing on aviation safety.

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