Sept. 11 death toll grows after cancer death
WASHINGTON (AFP) – A 45-year-old man who died of cancer due to breathing in toxic dust following the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 has become the latest addition to the attacks' overall toll.
Leon Bernard Heyward, 45, died on October 18, 2008 from "lymphoma complicating sarcoidosis," bringing the overall death toll from the attacks to 2,752, the New York City medical examiner's office said.
Heyward's is the second name to be added to the list in the years following the attacks. Officials in May 2007 also linked the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones five years earlier to dust she inhaled at the World Trade Center site.
The cause of death for all the official victims of the attacks is homicide, said medical examiner's spokeswoman Ellen Borakove.
"We are not saying that other people are linked or not linked," said Borakove, referring to the hundreds of other emergency personnel stricken with health problems from working at the collapse site in the weeks and months after the attacks.
"In order to be classified as a homicide the person had to have been there at the time the towers collapsed ... not just subsequently working there," added Borakove.