US President Barack Obama has signed into law a 4 billion dollar bill as a compensation for the emergency workers who fell ill following rescue and clean-up efforts during the 9/11 attacks on New York City.
"We will never forget the selfless courage demonstrated by the firefighters, police officers, and first responders who risked their lives to save others," News.com.au quoted Obama, as saying after he signed the bill.
"I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks," he added.
On December 22 last year, the US Congress approved a 10-year, 4 billion dollar program to help police, firefighters and other workers fell ill by the fumes left in the wake of the worst terrorist attack on US soil in 2001.
The bill was one of the last remaining items before Congress adjourned. The House passed the bill by 206 votes to 60, some two hours after it was cleared by the Senate.
Some of the emergency workers who survived the collapse of the Twin Towers have reportedly become sick and even died from cancer and other ailments in the nine years since, because of toxic substances contained in the wreckage.
Almost 3000 people died on September 11, 2001 when planes hijacked by al-Qaeda suicide operatives were flown into the World Trade Centre, as well as the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.
Another 70,000 people claim to have been exposed to the toxic fumes.