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Two 9/11 heroes die of cancer ’caused by toxic fumes from Twin Towers attack’

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Two 9/11 heroes die of cancer 'caused by toxic fumes from Twin Towers attack'
Former FDNY Keith Young died of so-called ‘9/11 cancer’ last week, almost 17 years after the Twin Towers attack

A firefighter and ferry captain who who saved countless lives on 9/11 have both died of cancer inhaling inhaling toxic fumes and dust from the Twin Towers attack.

Keith Young and Thomas Phelan died 16 years after the New York attack, with the men succumbing to so-called ‘9/11 cancer’ caused by toxic fumes after the Twin Towers exploded and collapsed onto Lower Manhattan.

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Keith’s children are now orphaned, after losing their mom to cancer in 2012 – but NYC Fire Wire page insisted they are ‘strong as rocks’, adding: ‘They will always have their FDNY family looking after them.’

Their tribute added that he was a ‘great guy’ who ‘raised an awesome family’, with trained chef Keith even writing a charity cookbook after the tragedy.

Thomas turned around his tour boat after witnessing the 2001 attack and used it to help ferry thousands trapped in Lower Manhattan after the terror attack.

Two 9/11 heroes die of cancer 'caused by toxic fumes from Twin Towers attack'
Keith pictured with his wife, who died of cancer in 2012, and children. The orphaned youngsters are said to be ‘strong as rocks’
Two 9/11 heroes die of cancer 'caused by toxic fumes from Twin Towers attack'
Trained chef Keith wrote a cookbook in the aftermath of the attacks

He later became a New York firefighter, and is one of at least 170 known to have died of an illness related to the Al-Qaeda attacks in their aftermath.

A statement on the NYC Fire Wire Facebook page read: ‘He brougbt supplies, rescue workers and was a huge part of the operation.

‘He went on to join the FDNY assigned to Engine 55 then eventually making his way back to the waterways into Marine 9.

‘Rest in peace, brother.’

News of Thomas’ death sparked tributes from friends and co-workers, with former colleague Paul Iannizzotto writing: ‘Always a stand up guy, always doing the right thing, and will be sorely missed.

‘Rest easy brother.’

Two 9/11 heroes die of cancer 'caused by toxic fumes from Twin Towers attack'
Thomas Phelan turned around the tour boat he was driving on 9/11 to rescue people trapped in Lower Manhattan after the attacks, before becoming a firefighter himself
Two 9/11 heroes die of cancer 'caused by toxic fumes from Twin Towers attack'
Thomas’ friends and family said they were ‘heartbroken’ by his death

Rebecca Berna added: ‘Such a great guy. You will be missed Tommy. We are heartbroken.

‘It’s unreal how fast this all happened. We thought we had more time.’

Edward Fahey added: ‘RIP Tommy. I was just talking to my old man and he said even at a young age you were the best boat captain had ever seen he said it just came natural to you.

‘Gone too soon.’

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11:  Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001 in New York City.  The crash of two airliners hijacked by terrorists loyal to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and subsequent collapse of the twin towers killed some 2,800 people. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The moment United Airlines Flight 175 slammed into the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11 2001 (Getty)

And Maura Buckley wrote: ‘I’m so sad! A true hero and gentleman.

‘He would help anyone ad everyone any chance he could.

‘I just can’t believe this and honestly don’t understand why it’s always the good ones we lose way to early.’

In 2004 it was revealed 2,500 emergency responders and rescuers who survived the atrocity had since been diagnosed with cancer, reports Mirror Online.

The attack itself killed 2,996, including 412 emergency workers, 343 of whom were firefighters.

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