THE Irishman who survived the horrific hostage ordeal in Algeria has had his homecoming delayed by snow in Britain.
It was expected that father-of-two Stephen McFaul (pictured) would be reunited with his family yesterday – however, those hopes were dashed as snow caused disruption at airports across Britain.
The 36-year-old engineer was en route to Gatwick last night and is due back home in Belfast later today.
Mr McFaul was due to meet officials from the Foreign Office in London before returning to Northern Ireland.
He escaped from the clutches of the al-Qa'ida-linked terrorists by running away after a 4x4 in which he was travelling with his captors crashed in the desert.
Mr McFaul, who was strapped with explosives, was held at a BP facility at in Amenas for two days. Dozens of his colleagues are feared dead.
Mr McFaul yesterday told of the horror as a terrorist convoy, carrying a number of hostages, attempted to flee from the camp.
He described to his family how explosives were fastened around his neck as five al-Qa'ida vehicles were attacked by Algerian forces as they tried to leave.
His brother, Brian, said: "They were moving five Jeep-loads of hostages from one part of the compound. They were intercepted by the army. The army bombed four out of five of the trucks and four of them were destroyed.
"The truck my brother was in crashed and at that stage Stephen was able to make a break."
Mr McFaul, who has two sons, Dylan (13) and Jake (4), was the only worker from Northern Ireland among those taken hostage. There had been speculation that a second man, from Co Antrim, was also captured.