No traces of bullets were found on the hull of late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter, which crashed earlier this week, according to a statement released by the Iranian General Staff’s public relations center, Report informs referring to TASS.

“No traces of bullets or similar objects were found on the hull of the crashed helicopter,” the IRIB television channel quoted the statement as saying.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran said it was publishing preliminary findings of the investigation into the fatal accident that claimed the president’s life, but “it can be said with certainty” that bullets were not involved.

At the same time, the General Staff said that “it can be said with certainty that <…> the crashed helicopter caught fire only after hitting an elevation.”

“We urge to ignore unprofessional online comments, which are based on speculations, do not take into account exact facts and causes of the incident and are sometimes [published] under the guidance of foreign media,” the statement says.

The General Staff also said that “a significant part of information about the crash has already been collected, [but] it takes time to study some documents.” New information about the disaster will be published only after “complex expert work.”

It was also reported that traffic controllers on duty “noticed nothing suspicious during their conversations with the helicopter’s crew.” “Approximately a minute and a half before the tragedy, the helicopter was still following its designated route and has not deviated from the flight path.”

The Iranian military also said that after the crash, the pilot managed to “establish contact with the pilots of two more helicopters,” transporting other members of the presidential delegation. The search for Raisi’s helicopter “continued through the night due to fog, cold weather and rough terrain.” Eventually, the crash site was located “by an Iranian drone at 5:00 a.m. local time [1:30 a.m. GMT] on Monday.”

On May 20, Chief of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri ordered to set up a commission investigating the deadly helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other officials. Recently, the commission examined the site of the crash.

On May 19, a helicopter carrying the Iranian president crashed in Iran’s Eastern Azerbaijan Province. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Province Governor Malek Rahmati, Tabriz Imam Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem and the chief of the presidential guard were also onboard the helicopter. All five passengers and three crew were killed in the crash.