Lieutenant Anthony ‘Tony’ Zeoli spent nine months trying to find traces of people – alive or dead – among the rubble after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
He led the longest-serving volunteer unit on Ground Zero – Team Romeo, a squad staffed by 12 already-retired police officers who put on their uniforms again in a desperate bid to recover the 2,606 missing people (‘Romeo’ signified ‘R’ for ‘retired’).
Exactly 16 years later, he is opening up for the first time about the horrors they experienced, publishing a book called Rising From The Ashes.
But now, he and the surviving members of his unit are all suffering from a new kind of horror: cancers, PTSD, lung diseases, sleep apnea, digestive diseases and – in some cases – death, all as a result of inhaling the toxic cocktail of mercury, jet fuel, asbestos and more.
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