9/11 Lady Dust Dies From Cancer

lady dust
 Marcy Borders PHOTO STAN HONDA, AFP ARCHIVES

A survivor of the attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York, immortalized in an iconic photo taken during the event, died of stomach cancer at the age of 42, her family said on Facebook.

At the time of the attacks, Marcy Borders was 28 and had worked for a month for the Bank of America, in one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

When one of the two towers collapsed, she had taken refuge in a nearby building, where Stan Honda, AFP photographer, took a picture of her that went around the world.

Ms. Borders appeared completely covered with a thick layer of ash, which earned her in the United States and the world, the nickname “Dust Lady” (“Lady dust”).

On the photograph, Marcy Borders, recovering from the attacks, was wrapped in a cloud of dust and seemed back lit by a disturbing yellow light.

After the attacks, Marcy Borders sank into a long spiral of unemployment, depression, alcohol and drug use, from which she had finally managed to recover from in 2011.

Since September 11, she has spent most of her time in a very modest apartment in New Jersey, not far from Manhattan and locations of the attacks, without psychological or financial support, she told AFP in 2012. She said she “always lived in fear” and rarely left her home, unable to imagine going back “in these targets, bridges, tunnels, stations (subway).”

Marcy Borders had started a treatment for cancer a year ago, suggesting that her illness may have been linked to chemical pollutants emitted during the collapse of the World Trade Center.