Plymouth man Lewis Allen McCloud safe at home after Algerian hostage ordeal
A PLYMOUTH businessman was recovering from his ordeal today after being caught up in the BP hostage crisis.
Lewis Allen McCloud, known as Allen, was understood to be back in the city and with his family this morning.
He was among a group of workers kidnapped by extremists in the North African country.
Al Qaeda linked terrorists attacked the BP gas plant at In Amenas, South East Algeria, on Wednesday.
The raid was condemned by the Government – foreign secretary William Hague branding those responsible for killing some of the hostages as “cold-blooded murderers.”
After a raid by Algerian special forces to end the four-day siege on Saturday, it emerged that Allen was one of those held captive.
He was among 22 Britons who survived – and has now been flown back to the UK.
State news agency APS said 685 Algerian workers and 107 out of 132 foreigners had been freed.
Allen, who is believed to be a former owner of The Notte Inn at the Barbican, has been heavily involved with the luxury Holtwood development at Plymbridge Road.
He is listed as the ‘applicant’ for the development on council documents. Companies House also lists him as being a director with Global Design and Technology Ltd.
Allen’s brother Malcolm has spoken of his frustration at the lack of information given to hostage families during the crisis.
He is reported as saying: “We are all very relieved that Allen is now safe. It's been a long, stressful four days for the family.
“The lack of information from all the relevant sources was very poor.
“We were kept up to date from friends who worked in the oil and gas industry and the news.
“Devon and Cornwall Police were very supportive and helpful, so a big thank you to them. Our thoughts are now with the other families who were not so lucky as us.”
The crisis began on Wednesday, when militants attacked two buses carrying workers to the remote site.
It is thought one Briton and one Algerian died at that time.
The militants took the workers hostage at the complex.
A total of 32 Islamist kidnappers and at least 23 hostages were killed over the course of the siege.
Among the dead are three Britons, while a further three are believed to have also been killed.
Mike Bellamy, the current landlord of The Notte Inn, said: “Allen is one of the most charitable, honest and nicest people I have had the pleasure to meet.
“He would not have taken the loss of friends and colleagues lightly.”
PM David Cameron has said he fears the crisis “could be the start of a decades-long battle against Islamist terrorism in North Africa.”
Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, added: “We have not experienced an attack on any such facilities on this scale before. There will undoubtedly be Government investigations into the horrendous events of the past few days.”