Thursday, May 17, 2007

2 Hurt by Falling WTC Skyscraper Debris

Fire News: "2 Hurt by Falling WTC Skyscraper Debris

2 Hurt by Falling WTC Skyscraper Debris

Thursday, May 17, 2007

(05-17) 10:17 PDT New York (AP) --

A 15-foot pipe fell off a skyscraper being dismantled near the World Trade Center site and plunged through the roof of a nearby firehouse Thursday, injuring two firefighters, officials said.

Demolition work was stopped on the 40-story former Deutsche Bank building after the sprinkler pipe fell from the 35th floor onto Engine 10/Ladder 10.

The firehouse was nearly destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Six of its firefighters were among the 343 killed responding to the burning World Trade Center, and a bronze memorial to all the firefighters who died is now affixed to the building.

The neighboring skyscraper, being dismantled floor by floor, was heavily damaged when one of the twin towers collapsed into it. Cleanup of toxic material in the building began in 2005, and work to dismantle it began late last year.

Workers from John Galt Corp. were cutting the pipe at around 7 a.m. when it dislodged and fell through the firehouse roof below, officials said. Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries and released, fire officials said. The firefighters weren't hit by the pipe, the department said.

The city Buildings Department issued John Galt Corp. a violation for failure to safeguard the public and property, spokeswoman Kate Lindquist said. A message left with the company wasn't immediately returned Thursday.

Work dismantling the former Deutsche Bank building has been stopped before by environmental regulators. A search is also ongoing for hundreds of human bones that have been recovered from the building over the past 18 months.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Giuliani - A full page of legal threats for GZ vets


Ground Zero Illnesses Clouding Giuliani’s Legacy

[A student in one of my classes last spring, Kojo Davis,> was a worker on the “pile” as it was known by those doing the cleanup and more than confirmed this report to the horror of our class. He showed us an ugly letter from the Mayor with one sentence thanking the workers and an additional full page of legal threats should any try to benefit from their work there — many in fact had not even received full payment from subcontractors to the 4 major contractors running the work who had been fully compensated by the city.

The student explained that in addition to asbestos the World Trade Center buildings had contained tanks of toxic substances that were mixed in with the debris, adding to its deadly properties. Thousands were thus poisoned — unknown thousands, as so many were volunteers who have returned home many states away not realizing that they had been terribly poisoned. A deputy mayor, Rudy Washington, who had been lung damaged lobbied to get state workman’s compensation deadlines extended somewhat to accommodate workers who began to discover the damage to their lungs (and widespread depression) a year or more after their labors were completed.

Billions of dollars were spent to compensate the families of the 3,000 originally killed on 9/11. But so far most of the tens of thousands injured in the cleanup have been left with minimal compensation if any at all.

This truly is the major NYC scandal of 9/11 and an injustice not yet rectified by an ex-Mayor who has made millions in his subsequent financial ventures and who is running ahead of the pack for the Republicans as their presidential candidate. None of those who worked on the “pile” would trust this man to run a garbage truck, let alone a major military or security operation. Ed Kent]

Ground Zero hero loses cancer fight

Detective sued city to change pensions after 9/11

NYPD Detective Robert Williamson shows photo of himself at The Pile.

A retired NYPD street detective who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after toiling at Ground Zero died of the disease yesterday, his wife and the detectives' union president said.

Robert Williamson, 46, died at his Nanuet, Rockland County, home four years after his March 2003 diagnosis, said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association.

Beginning the day of the 9/11 attacks and for three months after, Williamson spent 16-hour days performing rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center site, his sergeant, Michael Kelley, said yesterday.

"He was down on The Pile every single day" for the first two months after the twin towers' collapse, and then five days a week in the third month, Kelley said.

"Some guys took breaks; he was down there digging," Kelley said. "It didn't faze him a bit."

Williamson was among more than 1,700 cops and firefighters who sued the city to change the pension system after the disaster, Palladino said, adding that the married father of three worked "well beyond the required 40 hours at Ground Zero to qualify for a disability pension."

"He is one of the first officers who was deemed disabled as a result of his assignment on 9/11, and now that disability has claimed his life," Palladino said.

Sounding sad but stoic, Williamson's widow said the Emergency Service Unit cops never forgot her husband, even though he retired in 2002. The couple's children are 10, 12 and 15.

"They provided transportation to and from the hospital and brought oxygen tanks and a hospice to the house," Maureen Williamson said. NYPD Supervising Chief Surgeon Eli Kleinman would not comment specifically on Williamson's death.

"As far as we know, there are no particular cancers in the medical literature related to 9/11," Kleinman said. "We're following it very closely."

Williamson's attorney Michael Barasch said Williamson and other Ground Zero workers were "as much victims of the disaster as the 343 firefighters and 2,700-odd people who died" on 9/11. But before he died, Williamson said he would have worked at the site again.

"Did I know the air was not safe? Yes. Would I go down there again today knowing that? Yes. A lot of people made sacrifices," Williamson told the Daily News in 2004. "I might be a casualty of 9/11, but at least I had a few more years with my family."

A funeral is planned for Wednesday.