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article imageLaptop Containing Confidential Files On 9/11 Victims Stolen From Ground Zero

By Pamela Jean     May 3, 2007 in Crime
Frank DePaolo, director of special operations for the Medical Examiners Office was parked near Ground Zero when the discovery of the stolen laptop was made.
The laptop contained graphic photos of 9/11 victims, as well as "scientific lecture materials" according to Ellen Borokove, spokeswoman for the ME.
The "confidential files" about 9/11 victims, included "information about the discovery of new bones and body parts that have been recovered".
The investigation is ongoing.
The theft occurred in a well trafficked area near the site of the deadliest attack on American soil.
The SUV is marked "OCME" - Official Chief Medical Examiner.
"Whoever did this had a lot of nerve," said a law enforcement official.
An estimated 40,000 rescue workers were exposed to the toxic dust and fumes at Ground Zero. The workers that were the first responders have been found to suffer the worst medical conditions.
Among the responders who had no symptoms before 9/11, 61 percent developed respiratory symptoms while working at the World Trade Center site.
One-third of the ground zero workers in the new study showed diminished lung capacity. Among nonsmokers, 28 percent had some breathing impairment, more than double the rate for nonsmokers in the general population.
Many respiratory ailments such as sinusitis, asthma and related gastrointestinal problems persisted or grew worse in the years since 9/11.
Most of the rescue workers in the study who said they experienced respiratory problems while working at ground zero were still having those problems up to two and a half years later, an indication that the illnesses are becoming chronic.
Severe respiratory conditions including pneumonia were significantly more common in the six months after 9/11 than in six months prior.
Rescue and recover workers examined in the past year were found to have a number of different ailments caused by their work at the World Trade Center site, including:
Upper respiratory illnesses (84 percent), such as sinusitis, laryngitis, and vocal cord dysfunction
Lower respiratory disorders (47 percent) such as asthma and a condition known as World Trade Center cough
Psychological disorders (37 percent) such as post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression, and
Musculoskeletal problems (31 percent) often from injuries that occurred while working on “the pile” at ground zero.
There is a HUGE problem with the health of the 9/11 responders, as well as the residents living at or near Ground Zero.
Was this just a random theft of a laptop from a city street? Or, will we perhaps we will be privy to some very damning evidence that has been collected by the Medical Examiners Office, should the culprit that ran off with the laptop come forward to expose what is actually being discovered and studied at the site?
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