At Least 360 9/11 Ground Zero Workers Have Died, Including 80 of Cancer
May 8, 2008, New York Daily News
More than 360 workers who dealt with the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster have died, state health officials said Wednesday. Officials have determined the cause of death of 154 of the responders and volunteers who toiled at Ground Zero, the blocks nearby and at the Fresh Kills landfill, where debris from the site was taken. Of those, 80 died of cancer. "It's the tip of the iceberg," said David Worby, who is representing 10,000 workers - 600 with cancer - who say they got sick after working on rescue and recovery efforts. "These statistics bear out how toxic that site was," Worby said. Most of the deadly tumors were in the lungs and digestive system, according to the tally from the state's World Trade Center Responder Fatality Investigation Program. Other deaths were traced to blood cancers and heart and circulatory diseases. Five ex-workers committed suicide, said Kitty Gelberg, who is tracking the deaths for the program. Gelberg said ... there is an overall undercount of workers who have died. Last year, the head of Mount Sinai Medical Center's monitoring and treatment program, Dr. Robin Herbert, predicted a "third wave" of 9/11-related deaths from cancer. Cathy Murray, whose husband, Fire Lt. John Murray, died of colon cancer April 30, "absolutely" connects his disease to his work at Ground Zero. He was diagnosed in June and was 52 when he died, she said. "He was perfectly healthy," said Cathy Murray, 53, of Staten Island. "He never smoked a day in his life, and neither did I. It happened so quick and so aggressive. He was responding at first, but then he wasn't," she added. "And now he's gone."