With the Algerian hostage crisis over, harrowing stories from the survivors are beginning to emerge.
Reliving the narrow escape from death was clearly overwhelming for Romanian survivor, Liviu Floria who had to walk 30km through the desert to safety. He speaks of his traumatic experience.
“I entered my office with my colleague.
We closed the door, hid under the desk and, we waited to see what was going to happen in total darkness. All around us we could hear guns firing and people yelling. Everything happened in just three minutes. The difference between life and death was three minutes.”
Filipino survivor Joseph Balmaceda was used as a human shield by the hostage takers. He did not escape unscathed having sustained countless shrapnel wounds across his body.
“The Terrorist triggered the C-4 explosive inside our vehicle. I was trying to escape and I saw the government forces from afar motioning me to drop to the ground and roll towards them. It’s like having a second chance at life, because even as I was crawling on the ground the terrorists were still shooting at me”.
For those who were not so lucky, the picture is not so clear as final figures of the dead have yet to be released.