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02:43

USA: Authorities failed them - Young father among thousands to fight cancer on 18th anniversary of 9/11

United States, New York City
September 11, 2019 at 07:41 GMT +00:00 · Published

Wednesday marks eighteen years since the 9/11 terror attacks claimed as many as 3,000 lives in the United States. Now, a cancer patient is trying to get compensation from September 11th Victim Compensation Fund claiming he was exposed to toxins at Ground Zero in the wake of the attacks.

The 37-year-old Richard Fahrer is among tens of thousands who according to the World Trade Center Health Programme had been diagnosed with aggressive forms of cancers at a young age seemingly as a result of being exposed to the carcinogenic substances that were released following the attacks.

The young father believes the officials could have warned residents to stay away from Ground Zero latent with dioxins and asbestos. The officials could have protected them.

"They blatantly told us that it was safe to be down here," says Fahrer who used to work as a land surveyor between 2001 and 2003 in south Manhattan, where the Twin Towers had come crashing down.

"Go back to your day jobs. Go back to work. Do live life like you normally would. So, for work, for pleasure, for recreation, I carried out my normal daily life activities and here I am 18 years later fighting for my life."

Fahrer is represented by Matthew J. Baione, a lawyer from the firm Pitta & Baione.

"I think the government failed to protect the victims by doing quite the opposite of protecting them," says Baione who adds even long after the attacks the air remained toxic.

"The chemicals burnt for 99 days emitting into the air horrible cancer-causing toxins."

Fahrer's wife asks him whether he believes the terrorists who flew the passenger planes into the World Trade Centre buildings on September 11, 2001 had a hand in causing his colon cancer.

"I don't think I will ever know the truth of that," he says but adds, "I do know though that I am suffering unexpectedly and I had also been exposed for a significant period of time following 9/11."

02:43
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Wednesday marks eighteen years since the 9/11 terror attacks claimed as many as 3,000 lives in the United States. Now, a cancer patient is trying to get compensation from September 11th Victim Compensation Fund claiming he was exposed to toxins at Ground Zero in the wake of the attacks.

The 37-year-old Richard Fahrer is among tens of thousands who according to the World Trade Center Health Programme had been diagnosed with aggressive forms of cancers at a young age seemingly as a result of being exposed to the carcinogenic substances that were released following the attacks.

The young father believes the officials could have warned residents to stay away from Ground Zero latent with dioxins and asbestos. The officials could have protected them.

"They blatantly told us that it was safe to be down here," says Fahrer who used to work as a land surveyor between 2001 and 2003 in south Manhattan, where the Twin Towers had come crashing down.

"Go back to your day jobs. Go back to work. Do live life like you normally would. So, for work, for pleasure, for recreation, I carried out my normal daily life activities and here I am 18 years later fighting for my life."

Fahrer is represented by Matthew J. Baione, a lawyer from the firm Pitta & Baione.

"I think the government failed to protect the victims by doing quite the opposite of protecting them," says Baione who adds even long after the attacks the air remained toxic.

"The chemicals burnt for 99 days emitting into the air horrible cancer-causing toxins."

Fahrer's wife asks him whether he believes the terrorists who flew the passenger planes into the World Trade Centre buildings on September 11, 2001 had a hand in causing his colon cancer.

"I don't think I will ever know the truth of that," he says but adds, "I do know though that I am suffering unexpectedly and I had also been exposed for a significant period of time following 9/11."

W/S 9/11 Memorial site, New York City

C/U US flag and flowers at memorial site panel

M/S Visitors at memorial site

W/S Cancer patient Richard Fahrer and his lawyer Matthew J. Baione walking

SOT, Richard Fahrer, Cancer patient: "There is evidence to support my exposure to the disaster area following 9/11 may have caused cancer to develop inside of my body. One of the main reasons to believe in that is that the average age of a colon cancer victim is 68. Most people don't have to even begin colon cancer screening until they are around 50. I was 35 at diagnosis."

C/U Carnation at memorial panel *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Richard Fahrer, Cancer patient: "I think it is pretty well-documented that the officials could have done more and almost to the point that not only they could have done more, they blatantly told us that it was safe to be down here. "

C/U Fahrer and his lawyer Baione talking

C/U Baione's hands

SOT, Matthew J. Baione, Pitta & Baione lawyer representing Fahrer: "I think the government failed to protect the victims by doing quite the opposite of protecting them. They emphatically said the air was safe to breath less than a week, or just about a week after the attacks. And now we know how horribly wrong that statement was. The air was not safe to breath and it was not safe to breath a week after the attacks. It was not safe to breath in July almost a year after the attacks because chemicals burnt for 99 days emitting into the air horrible cancer-causing toxins."

C/U Fahrer listening to Baione *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Richard Fahrer, Cancer patient: "We all listened to the government, the city officials that told us that everything was fine. The air was clean. Go back to your day jobs. Go back to work. Do live life like you normally would. So, for work, for pleasure, for recreation, I carried out my normal daily life activities and here I am 18 years later fighting for my life."

M/S Memorial site panels *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Richard Fahrer, Cancer patient: "My wife asks me do I believe terrorists caused my cancer? I don't think I will ever know the truth of that, know the fact of that. I do know though that I am suffering unexpectedly and I had also been exposed for a significant period of time following 9/11."

W/S Street in New York City

W/S Building

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