9/11 health crisis deepens 17 years after the attacks
Firefighter William Gormley died of 9/11-related cancer after a stay of months working at Ground Zero. Now his daughter Bridget Gormley is to raise the awareness of 9/11-related illnesses.
Seventeen years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, new victims continue to emerge — and officials are now working on a fund that is established to help people suffering from 9/11-related illnesses may be in danger of drying out.
The $7.3 billion 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, established to provide financial assistance to people who are suffering from illnesses related to the attack and the toxic dust at Ground Zero, has already paid $4 billion, leaving about $3 billion until the fund expires in 2020.
“Looking at the data more recently, I’m starting to get a bit scared,” Rupa Bhattacharyya, the Victims Compensation Fund special master, told the New York Daily News.
Bhattacharyya told PIX11 the fund is not in “hands” warning come up empty, but in the long term, the status of the money could be is a different story.
Tens of thousands of people inhaling the toxic dust at Ground Zero in the days and weeks after the Islamic terror attacks leveled the Twin Towers, desperately looking for survivors, and the beginning of the massive cleaning. And year after year, a staggering number of workers who have come forward with 9/11-related illnesses.
The officials running the compensation fund have assessed 39,502 claims for this year of Aug. 31 — a nearly 28 percent increase last year in total, the New York Daily News reported. An estimated 20,000 claims have been approved in 2018.
The difficulty however is in determining how much money each person receives. Those who have been approved this year, could receive up to $200,000.
A FDNY firefighter working at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
A 9/11 workers ‘ lawyer said that he was concerned that filed this year and the coming years will receive less money than those who came before.
“I’m pretty sure that they will run out of money,” John feal, founder of FealGood Foundation, told the New York Daily News. “But I don’t think that people should be concerned now. I bet one of my kidney, which we will get to the VCF extended.”
However, the increase of the number of claims in 2018, should not be an anomaly, and Bhattacharyya said that the number of people with 9/11-related illnesses would continue to rise.
At least 182 of the firefighters died from 9/11-related illnesses.
“There are diseases with long latency periods,” she said. “Mesothelioma is one that is talked about often, and you won’t even see it for 15 or 20 years. We will not see it that claims to be for a while.”
About 400,000 people lived and worked near the Twin Towers at the time of the attack. An estimated 90,000 first responders were at the site after the attack.
Of the 88,484 responders and survivors of 9/11 who have registered with the World Trade Center Health Program, approximately 10,000 of them have a certain form of cancer, the New York Daily News reported.
“The numbers are real,” what is said. “This is not getting better. It’s worse than that.”
Thousands of people have illnesses related to the toxic dust from the site.
Uniformed Fire Officers Association President Jake Lemonda, in a press conference on Monday, said more than 1,000 firefighters, who are at ground zero have been diagnosed with cancer or a respiratory disorder. At least 182 of the firefighters died from 9/11-related illnesses.
By the end of this year, many officials expect that the total number of people who have died from illnesses related to the toxic dust at the site of the terror will surpass the 2,977 who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, the Journal News reported.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam