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Iranian sports suffers a brain injury in a helicopter crash

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The Iranian Minister of Sports suffered a brain hemorrhage, while one of his assistants was killed and 15 others were injured when a helicopter carrying them crashed while it was landing in Kerman Province on Thursday.

The official IRNA news agency reported that Minister Hamid Sajadi was hit in the head in the accident that occurred when the helicopter was landing in a stadium in the town of Baft.

His advisor, Ismail Ahmadi, died.

The Kerman Red Crescent Society said that at least 16 people were on board the helicopter when it crashed from a height of between 10 and 15 metres.

All 12 passengers and four crew members were injured. It is said that the condition of at least two of them is critical.

Provincial governor Mohammad Mehdi Fadkar was quoted by state media as saying the cause of the crash was under investigation.

Sajadi, a former long-distance runner who represented Iran at the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics, was sanctioned in January by the European Union in connection with months-long protests in the country over the death of a young woman in police custody.

“The minister suffers from a cerebral hemorrhage, but his general condition is stable,” said Mohamed Sabry, head of the Red Crescent in the province, on television.

“The Red Crescent helicopter fell to the ground when it was landing, and it was a few meters away from the ground,” IRNA said.

Sanctions-hit Iran has suffered several air disasters in recent years, with officials complaining of difficulties obtaining spare parts to upgrade its aging fleets.

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