Image of crashed helicopter is from Texas not Iran

21 May 2024
What was claimed

A photo shows the wreckage of the helicopter which was carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi.

Our verdict

This isn’t correct. The image is from Texas in the United States and shows the aftermath of a crash of a helicopter which was conducting a border patrol flight.

An image is being shared online with the false claim it shows the wreckage of the helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi. 

The caption on a post sharing the photo of a damaged helicopter on Instagram says: “‎The wreckage of Iranian President Raisi’s helicopter has been found.”

However, the image is actually of a Eurocopter helicopter crash in Texas, United States, in January 2024.

President Raisi, along with seven other people including Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, died in a helicopter crash in the north of Iran on Sunday 19 May.

Iranian state media reported that the accident occurred as a result of fog and rain.

The image being incorrectly attributed to the crash is actually from an incident near Spofford in southern Texas on 11 January.

A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter had been conducting a border patrol flight when it experienced a “total loss of power”, entering into an “auto-rotative descent”, crashing into the ground.

Both the pilot and co-pilot received minor injuries but survived. The helicopter sustained “substantial damage”.

We often see miscaptioned and altered images spreading online during significant global events. Our guide to verifying misleading images can help you check whether something you see online is what it claims to be before sharing it.

Image courtesy of Ashutosh Pandey/Unsplash

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