Russian Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev has died on duty while attempting to save a person's life, the ministry announced on Wednesday.
The tragedy happened during interdepartmental drills in north Russia's Norilsk to protect the Arctic zone from emergencies, it said.
Zinichev was trying to rescue Russia's well known film director Alexander Melnik, 63, who travelled to Norilsk to pick a location for his new documentary on the development of the Arctic region, local media reported.
"Zinichev was standing with the director at the edge of a cliff. The director slipped and fell into the water below. No one of the many eyewitnesses even had time to figure out what had happened as Zinichev rushed into the water but crashed against a protruding rock," RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said on Telegram.
Both Zinichev and Melnik died in a helicopter to hospital, according to reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has worked together with Zinichev for many years, expressed his deepest condolences to the late minister's family and friends, the Kremlin said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Zinichev "acted like a true rescuer" and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said he would always be remembered.
Zinichev, 55, became the emergencies minister in January 2020.
Published : September 09, 2021