Official statement by Volga-Dnepr Airlines regarding the tragedy in Bamako, Mali:
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 they are now staying safe onboard the aircraft within the airport’s protected area.
Today, 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.
To the family and friends of Aircraft Mechanic Stanislav Dumanskiy, Flight Navigator Alexander Kononenko, Radio Operator Vladimir Kudryashov, Aircraft Mechanic Pavel Kudryavtsev, Flight Engineer Konstantin Preobrazhenskiy, Load Master Sergey Yurasov, and to all our colleagues and friends at Volga-Dnepr and AirBridgeCargo Airlines, we offer our deepest sympathy.
May they rest in peace.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
— John Donne