False reports circulate about helicopter crash that killed Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi

Photos shared on social media worldwide purporting to show the wreckage of the stricken chopper, in fact show a different crash years ago

By AFP

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

Published: Tue 21 May 2024, 7:30 AM

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was declared dead on May 20 after his helicopter crashed into a remote mountainside in heavy fog. However, photos circulated on social media worldwide purporting to show the wreckage of the stricken chopper in fact show a different crash. The images were published in Iranian news reports in 2020 about a police training plane that crashed in Mazandaran province.

"Wreckage of the helicopter of the Iranian president and his delegation," read a Thai Facebook post that shared the photos. The pictures show rescue workers in a forest next to aircraft debris with the number "1136" printed on the wing.


The photos surfaced in Facebook posts around the world, including in English, Bengali, Burmese, Greek, Hindi and Malay. Take a look at the image below:

Among those killed when the helicopter crashed into a remote mountainside in heavy fog was Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, known for his fierce anti-Israel sentiment and scepticism of the West.


Old photos

A keyword search on Google found the photos in an Instagram post from April 23, 2020 by Iran's judiciary-linked Mizan news agency. According to the post, the wreckage was found in northern Iran's Mazandaran province.

Below are screenshots of the photos shared in false Facebook posts (left) and Mizan's photos (right):

A similar photo featured in a report by Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) about a police training plane that crashed in Mazandaran due to poor weather conditions.

IRNA's report shows a photo of a plane wing with the number "1136" -- which matches the number seen on the aircraft in Mizan's photos.

Another photo of plane wreckage that surfaced in some posts falsely linking it to Raisi's death also featured in Mizan's Instagram post.

Meanwhile, other posts showed a photo showing a blue and white helicopter on grassland.

That photo was published in news reports about the Raisi's crash, including Euro News and Iran's Mehr News Agency and Azad News Agency (ANA).

While it was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the image, AFP published a similar picture showing the location of helicopter wreckage. See below:

ALSO READ:



More news from World