Family of Louth man who escaped Algerian hostage crisis relieved by his safe return
THE Louth-area gas engineer who was held hostage at an Algerian gas plant has described his ordeal as "traumatic".
In a statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the family of Lou Fear, 56, of Tathwell, said they were relieved at his safe homecoming.
Mr Fear was among dozens of foreign workers who were held hostage, but managed to escape the terrorists who took over the desert gas plant.
After hiding with a handful of colleagues, they made a desperate bid to flee and escaped through holes cut in the fencing. The group trekked through intense heat in the day and freezing cold temperatures through the night, with no food or water, in the hope of reaching the nearest town, Amenas – 15 miles away.
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After 20 hours, they were picked up by an Algerian Army patrol and The Great Escape – as it has been dubbed by colleagues – was complete.
Mr Fear, who helped build the gas plant in 2004, flew back to the UK on Monday and was reunited with his wife Lori and their children, Anna-Victoria, 21, and Richard, 23.
The statement from Mr Fear's family said today: "The family is greatly relieved by Lou's safe return. This has been a very traumatic experience for the whole family, especially for Lou.
"Our thoughts are also with Lou's colleagues and their families.
"We now need to start the process of coming to terms with what has happened and need time alone to do this."
Mr Fear was filmed on Algeria TV after the four-day hostage ordeal ended during which a number of his colleagues were executed by the terrorists.
Algerian Forces stormed the BP-owned Ain Amenas gas plant on Saturday.