HOUSTON - Athough many hostages survived Saturday s final stand at the gas plant in Algeria, including at least two Americans, at least 23 died.

BP s CEO, Bob Dudley, said four of its eighteen foreign employees are still missing.

We are not able to confirm the circumstances of four of our employees, Dudley said. We gravely fear that we will be seeing fatalities from this group.

Back at home, the first American casualty was confirmed on Friday.

Fred Buttacio, 58, of Katy was believed to be a BP executive. A friend of the family said it is still not clear how he died. There are at least three others involved in the Algerian hostage crisis with Texas ties too. All of them are believed to have survived.

They include a resident of Austin, Mark Cobb of Corpus Christi, and a 57-year old father who grew up in Nederland near Beaumont.

Though friends and family will not reveal his name until he is safely home, they describe him as a project manager for ENGlobal now living in Houston.

Keith Gebauer is his lifelong friend.

Well one of the things that we heard is that he s actually been released already and he s already made a phone call back, Gebauer said. I don t know if he s actually available or not or even coming back yet but that s all I ve heard.

On Saturday in Nederland, there was a private prayer service for the man s safe return. Mark Cobb and the Austin resident are believed to be coming home any day.

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