Today marks the twelfth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil. Here are nine things you should know about what happened in the aftermath of the events on September, 11 2001:
1. It took 99 days—until December 19, 2001—for the fires at Ground Zero to be extinguished.
2. Cleanup at Ground Zero wasn’t officially completed until May 30, 2002. It took 3.1 million hours of labor to clean up 1.8 million tons of debris at a total cost of cleanup of $750 million.
3. There were 20 people pulled from the rubble in the two days after the attack. On the day following the attacks, 11 people were rescued from the wreckage, including six firefighters and three police officers. Two Port Authority police officers were also rescued after spending nearly 24 hours beneath 30 feet of rubble.
4. The total number of 9/11 victim deaths rose to 2,752 in January 2009, when the New York City medical examiner’s office ruled that Leon Heyward, who died the previous year of lymphoma and lung disease, was a homicide victim because he was caught in the toxic dust cloud just after the towers collapsed.
5. More than 1,000 people who have lived or worked near ground zero, including first responders, have been diagnosed with a cancer related to the attacks, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
6. Most of the steel from the World Trade Center wreckage was sent to New Jersey salvage yards where it was broken down and sent all over the world for reuse. Nearly 350,000 tons of the steel was sent to be reused in small and large scale tributes, including 7.5 tons for use in the navy battleship USS New York.
7. For the first time in history, all nonemergency civilian aircraft in the United States were grounded for three days. The lack of condensation trails (contrails) from jet aircraft caused the average temperature across the U.S. to rise by an average of 1.8 C.
8. A longitudinal study of 38 women who were pregnant on 9/11 and were either at or near the World Trade Centre at the time of the attack found that those who developed Post-traumatic Stress Disorde (PTSD) following exposure to the attacks had significantly lower cortisol levels in their saliva than those who were similarly exposed but did not develop PTSD. The children of women who were traumatized as a result of 9/11 subsequently exhibited an increased distress response when shown novel stimuli, suggesting that the effects of the trauma were passed on to the children prior to birth.
9. On September 13 a worker at the site, Frank Silecchia, discovered a 20 foot cross of two steel beams amongst the debris. The beams were dubbed the “Ground Zero Cross” and became a spiritual symbol for families of the victims and workers who cleaned up the debris.