(30 January ’13) – The bodies of four overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who died during a hostage-taking incident in a gas plant in North Africa’s Algeria on December 16, were retrieved by family members at the cargo area of the international airport Tuesday night, a TV report said.

The OFWs worked for the Japan Gas Corp which has contracts with operators at the In Amenas gas plant: British Petroleum, Statoil of Norway, and Sonatrakh of Algeria, the department of foreign affairs told ABS CBN.

Relatives of the slain OFWs waited for the arrival of the bodies of their loved ones at the Miascor Cargo Centre until 10:30 Tuesday night, sources said, adding that government labour agencies have contracted funeral homes to retrieve the bodies at the cargo area.

Relatives of the slain OFWs were told not to be visible at the cargo area to avoid reporters who have been waiting for the arrival of the bodies of the OFWs.

The bodies were aboard a plane that came from Doha, Qatar, an airport official said, but did not give more details.

Authorities did not release the names of the four OFWs whose bodies were brought home Tuesday night.

Earlier, Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez advised reporters not to stalk the airport in suburban Pasay City, adding they should give space to the grieving families of the slain OFWs.

Nine OFWs were confirmed dead at In Amenas. One of the bodies was not yet properly identified.

Some 17 OFWs survived the incident, records showed.

More than 1,700 OFWs work at several gas plants in Algeria.

Thirty-nine OFWs who were not working at In Amenas arrived in Manila last week. Their employers were afraid that the hostage crisis at In Amenas might affect other gas plants.

Nine million OFWs are based worldwide.