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9/11 Firefighter Thomas Phelan Dies Of Cancer At Age 45

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York City firefighter who helped evacuate hundreds of people during the Sept. 11 terror attack has died of cancer.

Thomas Phelan was 45.

Family and friends told the New York Daily News that Phelan died from cancer linked to the toxic fumes at ground zero.

Phelan was a captain of a Statue of Liberty ferry during the 2001 attack. He helped in the evacuation of Lower Manhattan and ferried rescue workers and supplies to the scene.

He joined the fire department in 2003 and was assigned to Marine 9 in Staten Island.

The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York says more than 170 firefighters have died as the result of illnesses related to the World Trade Center attacks.

A study a decade after the 9/11 attacks found mixed indicators about cancer rates, but local lawmakers have continued to push for federal healthcare support for first responders who worked during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks - despite what some see as a move to seperate current programs from federal programs.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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