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Colorado Man Was ‘Paralyzed With Fear’ During Terror Attack In North Africa

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Steve Wysocki (credit: CBS)

Steve Wysocki (credit: CBS)

(CBS4) – After two nights in hiding while a gas processing plant where he worked was under attack by terrorists, a Colorado man says he made a break for freedom.

Steve Wysocki, an oil and gas well expert with the oil company BP, was working at an Algerian gas plant in North Africa three weeks ago when the attack started. He told the CBS program 60 Minutes that he had to hide in his cubicle and remain as quiet as possible.

“We started hearing voices on our radios that didn’t belong on our radios. The terrorists had — they had captured some of our radios, if you will, from people and they were starting to use our radios to communicate with themselves. And I looked out the front door and I saw a man that didn’t belong there starting to come up the steps wearing camouflage fatigues. And I took off running. And one of the guys literally grabbed me and threw me under my desk in my hole. And then everybody got very quiet,” Wysocki said.

Wysocki and two other coworkers who survived the attack told CBS’ Charlie Rose they were each in different parts of the large gas plant when the attack unfolded, and each witnessed the simultaneous assaults.

A total of 37 foreign workers were killed in the attack. There were eight Americans at the plant at the time and three died, including Wysocki’s boss. Five Americans survived.

“I heard the guys in our building get taken, I’m like, ‘Why couldn’t I have done something to help?’ ” Wysocki told Rose. “I was paralyzed with fear .. I’m especially (feeling) guilty because they lost their lives and I didn’t.”

Wysocki and his wife own a farm in the town of Elbert, located about 40 miles southeast of Denver.

MORE FROM CBSNEWS.COM: Americans in Algeria: Surviving a terrorist attack

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