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Ebrahim Raisi to Ramon Magsaysay: A look at world leaders killed in air crashes

Ebrahim Raisi to Ramon Magsaysay: A look at world leaders killed in air crashes

International Desk

Late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and then Filipino President Ramon Magsaysay

Iran's eighth president Ebrahim Raisi was killed on Sunday, along with his foreign minister, in a helicopter crash in Iran’s remote northwest.

The loss of two of Iran’s most influential political figures comes as the country buckles under significant economic and political strain, with tensions with nearby Israel at a dangerously high level.

Drone footage of the helicopter wreckage taken by the Red Crescent and carried on Iranian state media showed the crash site on a steep, wooded hillside, with little remaining of the helicopter beyond a blue and white tail.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei – the final arbiter of domestic and foreign affairs in the country – announced five days of public mourning and confirmed that Iran’s First Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber, is now managing the executive branch.

However, it’s not the first time such an incident has occurred. Several other world leaders have also been killed in air crashes on separate occasions.

Here is a look at other political leaders across the world who died in plane or helicopter crashes:

Sebastian Pinera, two-term President of Chile: Pinera died as his helicopter crashed into a lake in southern Chile, on 6 February 2024.

Lech Kaczyński, President of Poland: On 10 April 2010, A Tupolev Tu-154M plane carrying Kaczyński crashed while approaching Smolensk Air Base in Russia.

Ramon Magsaysay, Seventh President of the Philippines: On 17 March 1957, Magsaysay’s plane, a C-47, crashed in the Mount Manunggal area in Cebu.

Juvenal Habyarimana, President of Rwanda, and Cyprien Ntaryamira, President of Burundi: The duo died on 6 April 1994, as their plane was shot down when it was about to land in Kigali, Rwanda.

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, sixth President of Pakistan: On 17 August 1988, Haq’s C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed after takeoff from Bahawalpur.

Rashid Karami, Prime Minister of Lebanon: On 1 June 1987, a bomb exploded in Karami’s helicopter en route to Beirut, killing him.

Samora Machel, Mozambique President: Machel was killed in a plane crash on the border with South Africa on 19 October 1986.

Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco, 26th President of Brazil: On 18 July 1967, Branco’s Piper PA-23 Aztec collided mid-air with a Brazilian Air Force Lockheed T-33, causing his death.

Abdul Salam Arif, Second President of Iraq: On 13 April 1966, Arif’s Iraqi Air Force plane — de Havilland DH.104 Dove — crashed near Basra.

Nereu Ramos, Interim President of Brazil: On 16 June 1958, the president’s Cruzeiro do Sul airliner crashed near Curitiba Afonso Pena International Airport in Paraná.

Salomon Arvid Achates Lindman, two-time PM of Sweden: Lindman died as his Douglas DC-2 crashed into houses near Croydon Airport in the United Kingdom, shortly after takeoff in thick fog, on 9 December 1936.

Source: News18

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