Three retired New York City Fire Department (FDNY) with 9/11 illnesses died within 48 hours this week, a stark reminder that the death toll from the terrorist attacks continues to climb, going far beyond the 343 members of the FDNY who were killed that day.
News sources say the latest victims are retired FDNY Lt. Timothy O’Neill, firefighter Kevin Lennon Fire Marshal Michael Andreachi.
Survivor advocates say that comes down to about 12 first responders a month — or three a week.
An estimated 90,000 first responders worked in the rubble of the WTC in the aftermath of the attack, trying to recover the bodies of their fellow firefighters.
The high number of victims threatens to deplete funding for the federal Victims Compensation Fund before it expires in 2020 – and caused administrators to reduce payouts to sufferers and their families. The fund provides money to those stricken with a 9/11 illness to help offset living and medical expenses.
Victim advocates have been pressuring lawmakers to pass a bipartisan bill to fully fund and extend the fund.