ISTANBUL: A Turkish Akinci unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) reportedly identified a source of heat early Monday, suspected to be the wreckage of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and shared its coordinates with Iranian authorities, Anadolu Agency reported.

After the helicopter carrying Raisi crashed, the Turkish National Defense Ministry assigned the Akinci UAV and a Cougar type helicopter with night vision capabilities to participate in search activities.

President Raisi had attended the inauguration ceremony for a dam on the Iran-Azerbaijan border on Sunday by helicopter.

Iranian state television reported that the accident occurred when Raisi’s helicopter made a hard landing while returning from the region.

Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Malik Rahmeti, the governor of East Azerbaijan Province, and Imam Ayatollah Ali Hashim of Tabriz province were also on board the helicopter.

Search and rescue teams are reporting that work continues with difficulty due to adverse weather conditions. - Bernama, Anadolu