The number of New York firefighters who have died as a result of 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center has topped 500.
On September 11, 2001, 343 members of FDNY died when the twin towers collapsed following the Al Qaeda attacks.
However, in the 16 years since the atrocity, a further 159 of those who served in the aftermath of the attacks have died of illnesses.
Father and son Raymond Alexander, left, and his son Robert, right, were both first responders on 9/11 and the pair have died of cancer linked to the atrocity within a year of each other
The 9/11 attacks claimed the lives of 343 FDNY personnel on the day of the atrocity, but over the next 16 years, illnesses caused by the collapse have claimed a further 159 officers
Among those are father and son Robert Alexander, 43, and Raymond Alexander, 76. Both were first responders and spent days attempting to rescue their stricken comrades from the rubble.
Raymond Alexander died on November 21, 2016 having battled seven different cancers in 13 years.
His son Robert died last month aged 43 of a 9/11 related brain tumor. He was suffering from headaches which were caused by a peanut-sized lump in his brain.
Both men were off on 9/11 but as soon as they saw the footage, they raced to the scene. At the time, Robert was an NYPD officer who later joined the fire department.
The scene was contaminated by toxic fumes, mercury, asbestos, and jet fuel.
As of last year, Mount Sinai’s World Trade Center Health Program had counted more than 5,400 people with 9/11-related cancers.
Also among those claimed by 9/11 illnesses was Raymond Pfeifer who died in May. He spent a week sleeping at night in his fire truck at the scene so he could work as long as possible in the effort to find survivors.
Another name added to the list was Raymond Pfeifer, pictured with his friend, comedian Jon Stewart, who died in May following a long battle with cancer
The 32 names will be added to the memorial wall inside the FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn
Comedian Jon Stewart spoke at Pfeifer’s funeral. The pair had lobbied Congress for a renewal of the Zadroga Act which guarantees health care for 9/11 first responders.
Pfeifer served over 27 years in the fire department before retiring in 2014.
Stewart told mourners: ‘Make no mistake, Ray Pfeifer died in the line of duty, because of illness in the terrible terrorist attacks of 9/11.
‘But more importantly Ray Pfeifer lived in the line of duty. Now and forever. That’s what I remember most about him.’
According to the New York Daily News, the names of 32 additional firefighters, most of whom died of a 9/11 related cancer over the past year, will be engraved on brass plaques inside the FDNY headquarters at MetroTech, Brooklyn.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said: ‘The 32 members we remember this year were without question brave — they were dedicated and compassionate — and they performed their duties, selflessly and courageously.’
The FDNY lost the greatest number of personnel on 9/11 with 343 confirmed deaths. A further 23 NYPD Officers and 37 from the Port Authority police also died.