Six crew members of cargo carrier Volga-Dnepr Airlines were among 19 people killed during last Friday’s terrorist attack by suspected Islamist militants at a hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, in west Africa.
On 18-19 November, an AN-124-100 aircraft operated by Volga-Dnepr Airlines was carrying construction machinery from Oslo (Norway) to Bamako (Mali).
After completion of the transportation, 12 employees of the Airline were staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel to rest before their next flight.
On 20 November at around 7 a.m. local time the hotel was attacked by armed militants of the al-Murabitoun terrorist group.
Six Volga-Dnepr crew members were rescued during the rescue operation by Special Forces and relocated onboard the aircraft within the airport’s protected area.
“The victims of the tragedy were identified with the assistance of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Mali and we are deeply saddened to have to confirm that six Volga-Dnepr crew members lost their lives during the terrorist attack in Bamako”, the airline said in a statement.
“The Airline’s Flight Operation Control Center is working with the Embassies of the Russian Federation and France in Mali and a Boeing 737 aircraft is being prepared to fly to Mali to bring our deceased colleagues back home to Russia. At this time, our priority is to provide the utmost support, comfort and assistance to the relatives of the Volga-Dnepr employees killed in the tragic events in Mali. Volga-Dnepr Airlines expresses its deepest condolences to the families and friends of our dear colleagues. The Airline has declared a period of mourning and all the flags at its Head Office have been lowered in respect to our lost crew members”, the statement added.