Watch: Iranian President Raisi's remains being retrieved from crash site

Rescue personnel battled extreme weather, including blizzards, to reach the site

Untitled design - 1 This grab taken from handout video footage released by the Iranian Red Cescent shows rescuers recovering bodies at the site of President Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter crash in a fog-shrouded mountainous area of northwest Iran | ANI

Just as Iran confirmed the death of its President Ebrahim Raisi in a chopper crash, footage released by the country's media showed search and rescue workers retrieving the mortal remains of the President and other senior leaders who died in the crash.

The personnel, who launched the search for the chopper just after it went missing, had to battle extreme weather conditions, including blizzards, and difficult terrain to locate the crash site in mountainous terrain near the Azerbaijan border. The video showed the rescue team, wearing bright jackets and head torches, huddling around a GPS device as they searched a pitch-black mountainside on foot in a blizzard. 

It was the Turkish drone that first located the remains. On Monday morning, Turkish authorities released drone footage showing what appeared to be a fire in the wilderness that they suspected to be the wreckage of a helicopter. The coordinates listed in the footage put the fire some 20 kilometres south of the Azerbaijan-Iranian border on the side of a steep mountain.

The Iranian Media soon released the footage showing the crash site. Soldiers speaking in the local Azeri language were heard saying "There it is, we found it."

Shortly after, state TV in an on-screen scrolling text said: There is no sign of life from people on board.

Meanwhile, the Iranian state media said the bodies of Raisi and his companions, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, are being transported to Tabriz in northwest Iran. 

"The large-scale search and rescue operation ended as the dead bodies were sent to a place in East Azarbaijan province where the martyrs of Tabriz are buried,"  Islamic Republic Red Crescent Society (IRCS) chief Pir Hossein Kolivand told the state TV on Monday.

'Not us: Israel'

Israel was not involved in the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash that also killed several members of his entourage, an

Israeli official told Reuters on Monday."It wasn't us," said the official, who requested anonymity.


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