Brazos Valley Businessman Shares his Libyan Tale of Terror

By: Alex Villarreal Email
By: Alex Villarreal Email

Human Rights Watch says at least 62 people have been killed in violence in Tripoli, Libya since Sunday.
That figure comes from just two hospitals.
The death toll is estimated at 300 since the uprising began.

A Brazos Valley businessman just returned from Libya and is glad he got out in time.

David White, with Industrial Fire World and Fire and Safety Specialists Inc. said, "By the time we got out of here, we had people calling us on the telephone saying there's riots, there's shootings, {there are} dead people in the streets."

White just returned from his first trip to Libya.

"You wouldn't dare go out in the streets. If you were out on the streets, you'd probably be shot or killed," said White.

It's the 51st country he's visited, working as a fire and safety specialist.

White said, "The fire departments that we were working with, they were leaving, stealing the fire trucks to go get where the rioting was because they wanted to be a part of it."

He's been in the business for 48 years, pictures of past disasters and explosions fill his office, but he says none of them compare to Libya.

"I saw people mopping off blood off the sidewalk. I didn't see any bodies," White said.

He had to cut his trip short and on his last night in Libya...

"You hear the shooting, bang, bang, boom-ba-boom, this went on all night long," said White.

He was tucked away in his hotel room...

White said, "I got up and turned the light on because I had to go to the bathroom."

What happened next, he'll never forget.

"I walked into the bathroom and all of a sudden, bam-bam-bam, four bullets come through my window," recalled White.

He's known as "Disaster Dave," but he has an uncanny way of slipping out of harm's way before its too late.

White said, "I met I don't know how many people at the airport trying to get a ticket, an airplane out of there, but there's not that many airplanes."

Freedom is so expensive sometimes.

"I guess in Texas you could kind of compare it to the Alamo. The people that went to the Alamo knew they were not going to survive," said White. "These people are not giving up."

"Disaster Dave" is happy to be back in America, with his freedom...and his life.

He was in Libya for about a month, and in the last five days of his trip, White says they didn't have working phones or internet, and the news broadcasts were often interrupted.

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