The hostage-taking at a Radisson Blu hotel in the capital of Mali thrust the hotel’s Minnesota manager, Carlson Cos. of Minnetonka, into the center of a major international incident.
The company quickly became a chief source of information about the rapidly-moving situation, in which several gunman entered the hotel and killed at 27 people before security forces took back control later Friday.
Initially, the company issued statements from the Brussels office of Carlson Rezidor Hotels, the subsidiary that runs its hotels. At 7:40 a.m. Minnesota time, it issued a statement from company headquarters that it was closely monitoring the situation. The company also set up a hotline for friends and relatives of guests to learn more.
At 3:15 p.m. Minnesota time, it issued a new statement confirming that authorities in Mali had told them the siege was over.
"I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy and express gratitude to law enforcement and first responders on the scene," David Berg, the chief executive of Carlson Hospitality Group, said in the statement. "As the investigation unfolds, our priority is to take care of our guests, employees and their families involved."
Carlson Rezidor owns or operates about 1,400 hotels around the world, most under the Radisson brand.
Its 190-room hotel in Bamako, the capital of Mali with about 1.8 million people, is in the heart of a neighborhood of embassies and the offices of international aid agencies and businesses.