Algeria attack survivors: "You could hear bullets start to hit the side of the bus"
(CBS News) Three Americans survived a horrific attack that ultimately resulted in the deaths of 37 colleagues during last month's hostage crisis in Algeria. Nick Frazier, Mark Cobb, and Steven Wysocki, all BP employees, narrowly avoided being taken hostage when militants assaulted gas plant on the morning of Jan. 16.
In an interview airing this Sunday on "60 minutes", Charlie Rose chats with Frazier, Cobb and Wysocki, about their experiences when the terrorists struck.
Frazier, a petroleum engineer, was on a bus bound for a nearby town. It had just pulled out of the main gate. He initially thought his bus had blown a tire, but when he looked out the window he saw dozens of red streaks passing, and realized they were under attack.
"People started to scramble and then bullets started coming through the front windshield. Everyone was, as fast as they could, getting to where they could lay down in the walkway of the seats and get as flat as possible," he said of the attack. "Everyone was so calm. You just become so calm. It wasn't how I thought I would have reacted at all."
He said the reaction on the bus was silent and very organized. "It was as if we had trained for it but we hadn't," he remembers. "You could hear bullets start to hit the side of the bus, and it wasn't one, two or three bullets. It was hundreds."
Algerian soldiers came to the rescue from a nearby base, and battled the militants for three hours.
"They saved our lives. They returned fire - heavy, heavy, heavy ... gunfire. They stood by the bus and shot back and kept the terrorists from getting onto the bus," he said.
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