Russian Emergency Situations Minister Yevgeny Zinichev has died "while carrying out his service duties" during exercises in the Arctic. He was 55.
"The Emergency Situations Ministry of the Russian Federation informs with sorrow that while carrying out his service duties, during interdepartmental exercises on defending the Arctic zone from extraordinary situations, and while attempting to rescue a person, the chief of the Emergency Situations Ministry, Yevgeny Zinichev, has tragically died," the Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement on September 8.
It added that Zinichev died in the city of Norilsk, but gave no further details.
RT Editor in Chief Margarita Simonyan said in a tweet that Zinichev died after he fell off a cliff while trying to grab a TV cameraman who himself had just slipped. The cameraman is also dead, she said, quoting eyewitnesses.
Zinichev was in the region to oversee large-scale drills and to visit the construction site of a new fire station in Norilsk, as well as a search and rescue team in the area.
Before becoming head of the Emergency Situations Ministry in October 2018, Zinichev held a number of jobs including as former deputy director of the Federal Security Service, part of President Vladimir Putin's personal security detail, and briefly as acting regional governor of Kaliningrad for two months in 2016.