TIME Behind the Photos

Moises Saman Captures Dramatic Images of Iraqi Helicopter Crash

A helicopter delivering aid to Yazidi civilians crashed in Northern Iraq, killing its pilot and injuring several passengers including photographer Moises Saman, an award-winning Magnum photographer on assignment for TIME.

Speaking shortly after the crash, Saman explained that the helicopter crashed soon after having picked up internally displaced Iraqis of the Yazidi ethnicity. The photographer was pinned down by the weight of some of the passengers for a while but suffered just a minor cut on his head, which was later treated at a hospital in Dohuk.

Another photographer, Adam Ferguson, and the New York Times’ Paris bureau chief Alissa J. Rubin were also on board and sustained minor injuries. “If we had been another 50 meters higher we’d all be dead,” Ferguson told the Times.

The video below shows footage captured by CNN on Monday. The Iraqi Air Force and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were flying over the front lines to deliver support to trapped civilians. People desperate for aid and an escape raced toward the helicopter, throwing their children aboard.

TIME will continue to update this article with the latest news and photographs.

Reporting by TIME‘s Dan Kedmey


Moises Saman is an award-winning photographer represented by Magnum Photos.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

Mikko Takkunen is an Associate Photo Editor at Time.com


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