KATY A Houston-area family has learned that one of their own is not coming home.

Fred Buttaccio, 58, graduated from the University of Houston and worked at BP.

This week he died in Algeria, one of the hostages taken by terrorists at a remote desert natural gas production facility.

According to a family friend, relatives do not know how Buttaccio died.

Alhough Buttaccio is the first American casualty in the hostage crisis, he is neither the only American involved, nor the only one with ties to Texas.

Relatives confirmed that Mark Cobb of Corpus Christi escaped the militant attackers and survived.

Another man, who grew up outside Beaumont in Nederland, also survived.

One of the things I heard is that he s been released already and he s already made a phone call back, said Keith Gebauer, a life-long friend who says his prayers are with the family.

God Bless. That s it. God bless. Godspeed home, he said.

Friends and family will not reveal the man s name until he is home. He is described as a 57-year-old project manager for ENGlobal and a father now living in Houston.

Overseas, the government of Norway welcomed home five employees of a Norwegian energy firm Friday. They included four Norwegians and one Canadian.

As for the Buttaccio family, it is not likely that they will have anything to say to media anytime soon. They have asked for privacy.

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