Update: The New York Times is reporting that the Texan confirmed dead was Frederick Buttaccio, 58, of Katy, Tex. "Linked In, the social networking site for professionals, lists a Frederick Buttaccio as a sales operations coordinator for BP, the British energy giant that helped run the complex, but a company official said it would not comment on any employee who may have been at the facility," according to the Times.
In a press release issued at 2:30 pm GMT from London, BP updated the world on the situation at their In Amenas natural gas facility in the Algerian Sahara. By this afternoon here in the US, CNN was reporting that the Brits and Norweigans say the crisis is now over following an Algerian raid.
Sadly, one American - a man from Houston - is among the killed hostages, as is a Brit, a Frenchman and a Romanian. As the Algerians stormed the gas facility today, apparently another six hostages were killed. According to CNN, there are also 15 "charred bodies" found at the facility.
Before all of this occurred today, BP gave an update on the terrorist attack of Wednesday morning, an event that had been reported here. BP said today that while it could not disclose the identities of employees being held at the site, they confirm 18 were at In Amenas at the time of the attack. There were also many other personnel at the site, including contractors from other countries.
BP said in their statement that:
Over the past four days, BP’s efforts have been focused on locating our people and ensuring their safety. Of our employees at the site, 14 are now confirmed safe and secure. Two have sustained injuries, but these are not life-threatening.
However, so far, neither the authorities on the ground, international governments nor BP have been able to confirm the location or status of four of our employees.
Bob Dudley, BP group chief exec., said that while the situation has evolved, it could be some time before things become clear. Then, obviously pointing to the four who are not accounted for by authorities, Dudley said:
While not confirmed, tragically we have grave fears that there may be one or more fatalities within this number.
BP is working with the British and Algerian government authorities and agencies.
As news of the incident emerged, BP mobilized what it calls its "emergency response system" and sent teams to the ground in Algeria and the UK, according to the company.
We are in close touch with the UK government and Statoil, Sonatrach, the Algerian energy ministry and the companies which are contracted to the joint venture. We have also offered support and co-operation to other companies in the response to the incident.
When the fate of the missing four BP workers is known and available, it will be reported here.
The alleged Al-Qaeda-linked terrorism, which included strapping bombs to the backs of hostages (not necessarily from BP), is believed to be retaliation for French military action in Mali. As reported here earlier in the week, hostages came from many other countries, and as several news outlets have also been reporting, many escaped.
Bold marks and links are those of the Examiner's.