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343 emergency workers from the New York City Fire Department have died from 9/11-related illnesses, matching the number of those who died on the day of the attacks. The most recent deaths were Hilda Vannata, an EMT who died of pancreatic cancer on September 20 and retired firefighter Robert Fulco, who died of pulmonary fibrosis on September 23.
Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh has said: She added that both illnesses were a result of "time they spent working in the rescue and recovery at the World Trade Centre site". Ms. Kavanagh said, "With these deaths, we have reached a sombre, remarkable milestone. "We have now suffered the same number of deaths post-September 11th as we experienced that day when the north and south towers fell. Our hearts break for the families of these members and all who loved them. "Our responsibility to our FDNY (Fire Department of New York) colleagues extends far beyond what we asked of them on September 11th and in the days and months that followed during rescue and recovery." Exposure to the toxic materials in the aftermath of the terror attack has been linked to a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, and other diseases. Ms. Kavanagh said: "The toll of these illnesses on our FDNY responders continues to grow and includes not only the 343 who have died since 9/11 but also the 11,000 who suffer from WTC-related diseases, including 3,500 with cancer."
In her statement, Ms Kavanagh emphasised the importance of the department's unwavering commitment to their service and sacrifice. She expressed her gratitude to the many members who showed up on the fateful day, despite the great loss suffered. Ms. Kavanagh stressed the significance of creating a legacy of honour and promise for those who were lost. She also reaffirmed the department's dedication to advocating for the survivors and their continued push to ensure that all members receive the care they deserve for the rest of their lives.
More than 71,000 people are reported to be enrolled in the World Trade Centre Health Registry, which seeks to track the health of 9/11 emergency workers and other people caught up in the attacks.
Workers who were in either of the World Trade Centre buildings and people who lived in surrounding properties are among those who have also suffered health problems as a result of the atrocity.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed when al Qaeda terrorists hijacked passenger planes and flew them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon HQ in Washington. Another hijacked plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
The number of emergency personnel lost in the attack was the highest in US history.
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05 September 2023