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Presidents Who Lost Their Lives In Aviation Accidents (List)

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain near the Azerbaijan border, officials and state media reported.

In a statement on Monday, the Iranian government assured that operations will continue “without the slightest disruption” despite the loss of the President.

Aviation accidents have claimed the lives of several presidents over the years.

Below is a list of some presidents who lost their lives in aviation crashes:

  1. President José Félix Estigarribia, Paraguay (1940)

José Félix Estigarribia, Paraguay’s 34th president, died in a plane crash on September 7, 1940, in Altos, Paraguay. He was aboard a Potez 25 aircraft.

  1. President Ramon Magsaysay, Philippines (1957)

Ramon Magsaysay, the seventh President of the Philippines, lost his life on March 17, 1957, when his plane, a C-47 named “Mt. Pinatubo,” crashed into Mount Manunggal in Cebu. Out of the 25 passengers on board, only one survived.

  1. President Abdul Salam Arif, Iraq (1966)

Abdul Salam Arif, the second President of Iraq, played a key role in the 1958 revolution that overthrew the monarchy. On April 13, 1966, Arif died when his Iraqi Air Force plane, a de Havilland DH.104 Dove, crashed near Basra. Following his death, his brother, Abdul Rahman Arif, succeeded him as president.

  1. President Rene Barrientos Ortuno, Bolivia (1969)

René Barrientos Ortuño, the 47th president of Bolivia, was killed in a helicopter crash on April 27, 1969. While an assassination was suspected, it was never proven.

  1. President Samora Moisés Machel, Mozambique (1986)

Samora Moisés Machel, the first President of Mozambique, served from the country’s independence in 1975. He died in office in 1986 when his presidential aircraft crashed near the Mozambican-South African border.

  1. President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistan (1988)

General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the sixth President of Pakistan, passed away on August 17, 1988. His C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Bahawalpur. The cause of the crash remains unclear, with theories ranging from mechanical failure to sabotage.

  1. President Juvénal Habyarimana, Rwanda and President Cyprien Ntaryamira, Burundi (1994)

On April 6, 1994, the President of Rwanda, Juvénal Habyarimana, died in a plane crash near the capital city of Kigali. The incident also claimed the life of Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira and several others. Their aircraft, a Dassault Falcon 50, was struck by surface-to-air missiles as it prepared to land at Kigali International Airport.

  1. President Lech Kaczyński, Poland (2010)

On April 10, 2010, Lech Kaczyński, the President of Poland, was travelling to Russia to commemorate the Katyn massacre, where 22,000 Polish military officers were killed by the Soviet Union. This journey ended in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, killing the president and all 96 people on board. An investigation committee, led by then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, was formed to examine the incident.

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