200th firefighter dies from illness related to 9/11 attacks

A firefighter who worked at the World Trade Center after 9/11 t has died from an illness related to the attack, the 200th victim from the force.

Richard Driscoll “bravely responded to the attacks… [and] worked tirelessly in the rescue and recovery efforts that followed”, his former colleagues at the New York Fire Department said.

Mr Driscoll served in the department for 32 years, and was cited for bravery five times during his career, according to the NYFD.

Smoke pours from the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes September 11, 2001
Image: Almost 3,000 people were killed in the 2001 attack

Commissioner Daniel Nigro said: “It is almost incomprehensible that after losing 343 members on September 11, we have now had 200 more FDNY members die due to World Trade Center illness.

“These heroes gave their lives bravely fighting to rescue and recover others. We will never forget them.”

Exposure to Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 2001 atrocity has led to a number of conditions and health problems.

The World Trade Centre health programme cites among others a number of cancers, respiratory and digesting disorders such as asthma as well as problems in the thyroid gland and bladder.

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio paid his respects to firefighters Mr Driscoll and Kevin Nolan, the 199th firefighter to die.

Mr de Blasio said: “They didn’t hesitate to run into danger. They stayed until the work was done.”

It comes as the Senate prepares to vote on a bill to ensure a victims’ compensation fund related to the September 11 attacks never runs out of money.

The $7.4bn fund is rapidly being depleted.

Republicans Mike Lee and Rand Paul had been blocking a vote but have now reached an agreement with the Democrats.

Mr Paul has been concerned about its effect on the deficit and Mr Lee wanted to ensure the fund has proper oversight in place to prevent fraud and abuse.

A spokeswoman for Mr Paul said he is “not blocking anything. He is simply seeking to pay for … this legislation.”

Mr Lee said he is not blocking benefits for 9/11 first responders, but merely trying to ensure that “the program created in their honour in fact benefits them.”

A total of 2,966 people died in the worst terror attack on US soil when planes were flown into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in an atrocity planned by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Source: SKY NEWS

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