MOSCOW: November 21, 2015: Volga-Dnepr says six of its employees were killed during the recent attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali.
On November 18-19, an AN-124-100 aircraft operated by Volga-Dnepr Airlines carried construction machinery from Oslo, Norway to Bamako, Mali.
After arrival, the airline's 12 employees stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel to rest before their next flight. On November 20 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 subsequently rescued by Special Forces and were transported to their aircraft within the airport's protected area where they remained.
In a statement the company then added: "On November 21, 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'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."