LYON, France – INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble today expressed his condolences to Poland on behalf of the world police community hours after Polish President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of others reportedly died in a plane crash by Smolensk airport in Western Russia.
With Mr Noble joined by the head of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Kathryne Bomberger, in offering the “profound sympathy” of their respective organizations to both Polish and Russian authorities, both organizations also pledged their assistance in disaster victim identification efforts in Russia.
“On behalf of the world police community, INTERPOL expresses its full solidarity with the Polish people at this tragic time,” said Mr Noble.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with the families and loved ones of all those who perished as well as with all Polish citizens,” added the head of INTERPOL.
Mr Noble’s statement came as INTERPOL offered to Russian and Polish authorities to send an INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team to Russia. In this respect, the world police body has alerted DVI teams across its 188 member countries to be ready for deployment if requested by either Russia and/or Poland to do so.
The head of the ICMP also agreed that her organization would join any INTERPOL deployment.
In addition to DVI assistance, and with INTERPOL’s Command and Co-ordination Centre at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon closely liaising with INTERPOL’s National Central Bureaus in Warsaw and Moscow, INTERPOL has also offered support in multilingual situation updates which can be sent in all four official INTERPOL languages (Arabic, English, French and Spanish) by its Command and Co-ordination Centre directly and securely to law enforcement agencies in all 188 INTERPOL member countries.
Officials in Russia’s Smolensk region were quoted as saying there were no survivors after the plane crashed as it came in for landing in thick fog at 1056 Moscow time (0656 GMT).
Different reports put the number of people on board the plane at between 87 and 130.