Sick first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will see payments slashed dramatically as the fund to compensate them runs out of money, officials said Friday.
The fund was created to aid people sickened by exposure to toxins at the sites of deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, and the families of those who have died.
But the $7.4bn fund is running short on cash so it will cut future payments at least in half, its administrator announced Friday. Payments to survivors who have already applied will be cut by 50%. For those who file after 2 February, checks will be slashed by 70%.
“This is devastating,” said John Feal, a leading advocate for 9/11 responders. “For so many it’s a lifeline, and that lifeline has just been cut off.”
Thousands of people have fallen ill after breathing air thick with smoke from the collapse of the World Trade Center. Close to 10,000 people in New York have been diagnosed with cancer linked to the attack.
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