A former ferry captain who helped evacuate hundreds of people from Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks has died.
Thomas Phelan was 45 and had cancer.
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.
Two years after the attacks he became a firefighter assigned to a marine unit on Staten Island.
Family and friends told the New York Daily News they believe Phelan got cancer from toxic fumes at ground zero.
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.
Scientific evidence linking the attacks to cancer is still unsettled. Researchers studying illnesses among people exposed to the 9/11 dust cloud have found an unusual number of deaths from brain malignancies and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but fewer deaths than expected from other types of cancer.