Lincolnshire man Lou Fear held hostage by al-Qaeda militants 'will go back to Algeria'
Lou Fear, a BP engineering team leader, is one of the lucky ones.
At least 37 foreigners and an Algerian died, plus 32 kidnappers, after al-Qaeda-linked militants stormed the Ain Amenas gas plant in north Africa.
Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed three Britons died and a further three are missing, presumed dead.
Dad-of-two Mr Fear was among the 792 hostages – including 100 foreigners – who lived to tell the tale.
When the terrorists struck, Mr Fear attempted to help the wounded before he and colleagues hid as the militants began hunting them down.
At one point a British worker was ordered to tell those hiding to show themselves, claiming the attackers were just looking for Americans.
A witness said they "blew him away" a short while later.
Becoming increasingly desperate, Mr Fear and others made their bid for freedom through holes cut in fencing.
He and a group of men then trekked for 20 hours, in the fierce heat of the desert in the day and freezing temperatures at night, aiming for the nearest town 15 miles away.
They hid in dunes and could hear gunfire and explosions from the plant, constantly fearing they would fall into the hands of extremists.
Salvation came when they were picked up by an Algerian Army patrol.
Mr Fear, who is now with his wife Lori, an elder at Eastgate Union Church in Louth, daughter Anna-Victoria, 21, and son Richard, 23, said: "The guys who picked us up were wonderful, like long-lost friends.
"They kept saying: 'The terrorists did not come from Algeria'."
Mrs Fear said: "I'm just relived to have my husband back. He's very traumatised."
The family said in a statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: "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."
Upon his release, Mr Fear had told Algerian TV of his plans to return.
"We like the Algerian people – we come here, we train them, we feel very sorry this has happened to your country as well," he said.
"We're the people who built this plant. We'll come back."
A neighbour, Gwen Powell, from Little Tathwell said Mr Fear told her a few days before the crisis erupted that he had been reluctant to go back to Algeria.
"I often see Mr Fear when we are out walking our dogs down the lane," she said.
"He was telling me he hoped his flight would be cancelled and he could stay at home with his family.
"They are very nice people and I was so glad to hear that he was OK."
Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal has said the kidnappers, thought to have crossed into the country from northern Mali, were from Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Canada and Mauritania.
The attack began at 5am on Wednesday, January 16 when armed gunmen targeted two buses carrying workers. A Briton and an Algerian were killed in the fighting.
Algerian and foreign hostages were taken from the complex and in response, security forces and the Algerian army surrounded the kidnappers.
At noon on January 17 the Algerian army attacked as militants tried to move some captives from the facility.
Some hostages escaped, but others were killed.
The final assault began on January 19 after seven hostages were executed.
The 11 remaining militants – who had booby trapped the plant – were shot dead in the melee.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a one-eyed Algerian, is behind the attack on the gas plant.
He is nicknamed "the Marlboro Man" because he funds terrorism through tobacco smuggling.
The militants claimed they were retaliating for France's intervention against Islamic militants in Mali.