North East men freed in Algeria

It has been confirmed that workers from the North East were involved in a hostage situation in Algeria where gas workers were taken hostage by Islamic militants. Three men from the region were freed last week.

View all 21 updates ›

Durham hostage survivor pays tribute to Scottish colleagues

A man from Durham who survived the Algerian hostage crisis has paid tribute to two Scottish colleagues believed to have died in the attack.

Peter Hunter was reunited with wife Kerry after he spent days in hiding at a secret location at the sprawling plant.

He said he was "fortunate" to be able to return home and described colleagues Carson Bilsland and Kenneth Whiteside as "lovely guys".

"I guess you could say I was not in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I used to see Carson every morning and every lunchtime and we always had a bit of banter. He was a lovely guy, they all were.

Kenny Whiteside used to play the bagpipes. Occasionally he would have his kilt on. I used to sit on the step there and he used to say, 'I do requests'. He was a lovely, lovely man.

It's just very sad."

– Peter Hunter

Mr Whiteside, a 59-year-old from Glenrothes, Fife, was a planning manager at the In Amenas desert complex.

His brother said on Tuesday that police have confirmed he was executed.

Mr Bilsland, a former member of the British speed ski team. from Perthsire, is also believed to have died in the siege.

More top news