Tuesday, May 8, 2007

New York police officer died from Ground Zero illness: report

New York police officer died from Ground Zero illness: report:

New York - A New York police officer who guarded the destroyed World Trade Center after September 11, 2001 has died of cancer, becoming the second death in the police force of an officer involved in securing the site. Detective Kevin Hawkins, 41, had spent two months at Ground Zero while debris from the 110-storey twin towers was still burning from the attacks by terrorists, who slammed two commercial airplanes against the buildings and killed more than 2,700 people.

Hawkins, a 20-year veteran in the New York Police Department, recently was a security detail for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He died from kidney cancer just weeks after applying for disability pension as a result of his service at Ground Zero.

The New York Daily News quoted police union leaders as saying that another police officer died from cancer after his posting at Ground Zero. Many police and firefighters were assigned the duty of guarding the burning site immediately after the attacks.

"He fought this disease with the same integrity and strength that he displayed serving our country and our city," said Bloomberg, who was quoted by the Daily News.

Hawkins is survived by his wife and three children.

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