Death toll from 9/11-related illnesses almost matches that from day of attack
Almost as many people who died on 9/11 have fatally suffered illness as a result of exposure to debris from the attacks.
As those who lost loved ones at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and on Flight 93 gather for Sunday’s 15th anniversary of the terror attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, a post-9/11 health crisis is growing.
At least 1,000 people – and probably many more – have died often lingering, painful deaths resulting from illnesses related to their exposure to debris that spread from the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers in downtown Manhattan. More than 37,000 are officially recognised as sick.
Calls are growing for a new monument to be added to the World Trade Center site, to pay tribute to those who have died or become sick since 9/11 because of toxic exposure.
“Within the next five years we will be at the point where more people have died from World Trade Center-related illnesses than died from the immediate impact of the attacks,” said Dr Jim Melius, a doctor at the New York State Laborers Union who also advises the White House on worker health, chairs the steering committee overseeing the government health program for 9/11 responders, and is a member of the advocacy group 9/11 Health Watch.