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NEW YORK CITY — Three retired firefighters who worked at ground zero have died on the same day from cancer, an illness that many fear might be connected to toxic World Trade Center dust released during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Lt. Howard Bischoff and firefighters Robert Leaver and Daniel Heglund died Monday.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro says their deaths are “a painful reminder that 13 years later we continue to pay a terrible price for the department’s heroic efforts.”
One of the deceased firefighters had leukemia, one had esophageal cancer and a third had colon cancer.
Hundreds of first responders have gotten cancer in the 13 years since the attacks, but doctors and researchers are still uncertain whether there is any link between those illnesses and 9/11.
The FDNY lost 343 firefighters on 9/11.