NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A fire truck used during the World Trade Center evacuation after the September 11 terror attacks returned to ground zero on Wednesday.
It was lowered Wednesday into exhibition space for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
The Ladder Company 3 truck helped civilians escape from the trade center’s north tower on Sept. 11, 2001. Eleven firefighters aboard the truck from the East Village firehouse were killed when the towers collapsed, crushing the vehicle under tons of rubble.
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On Wednesday afternoon, a crane lowered the 60,000-pound truck, wrapped in a protective covering, 70 feet into the site as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, FDNY Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano and a group of firefighters and family members watched.
It had been stored in a climate-controlled room at a hangar and was escorted to the site by the current Ladder 3 truck.
Carolyn Brown’s brother, Captain Paddy Brown, died trying to evacuate burn victims from the north tower. She said it’s incredibly meaningful to see the truck at the site where her brother died.
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“The truck’s going home with the guys. They’ll be together and…the fire engine will be there,” Brown told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello. “It’s kind of come full circle now – it’s coming home with them.”
The memorial plaza opens to the public on Sept. 12, a day after the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack. The museum will open next year.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the deadliest single event for emergency responders in the U.S.
The cab of the truck was destroyed in the towers’ collapse and its main body and ladders were damaged and contaminated.
The truck will join the remains of other emergency vehicles at the museum, including from the New York Police Department, the Port Authority Police Department and FDNY.
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