During the first three weeks in December more than 2,000 workers and volunteers filed claims for September 11-related injuries with the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, just ahead of the Fund’s December 22 filing deadline, according to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. The late surge represented more than half of all injury claims received by the Fund during its 23 months of operation, according to NYCOSH.

The total filed was 4,185 injury claims and 2,884 death claims. Fund officials expressed surprise at the number of injury claims, saying that they had anticipated receiving some 3,000. The number of death claims received represents 97 percent of the families of those killed on September 11.

Fund officials said that the majority of the late-arriving injury claims appeared to be for respiratory injuries from working in the toxic dust and fumes that persisted at the World Trade Center for months after the attacks.