New 9/11 emergency calls to be released
By Zak Sos
Lights honoring World Trade Center victims mark New York's skyline on September 11, 2005.
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York City will release on Wednesday newly discovered recordings of emergency calls made on September 11, 2001, the city's law department said.
"The calls made by firefighters and EMS personnel that day reveal extraordinary professionalism and bravery," the New York City Fire Department said in a statement Tuesday.
Among the 1,613 calls being released will be those with the voices of 21 FDNY members who died during the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The tapes consist mainly of internal calls between FDNY and Emergency Medical Service dispatchers, as well as with local hospitals regarding their readiness to treat the injured.
The city also plans to release a number of civilian 911 calls made that day, 10 of which were made from people inside the World Trade Center.
Two of those 10 calls and part of a third were not previously released because they had been identified as potential evidence in the federal criminal trial of September 11, 2001, conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, according to the FDNY. Of the seven remaining calls, two were identified as having been made by callers who died.
On March 31, the city released CDs of 911 dispatchers responding to about 130 calls from inside the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.
The decision to release the recordings followed a court battle led by The New York Times and joined by the families of nine firefighters. The 2004 court decision left it up to victims' next of kin to decide if the callers' voices in the recordings should be made public.
As with the recordings released in March, the new excerpts will include only the dispatchers' side of the conversations. The sole exception will be one call that was aired during the Moussaoui trial with four minutes of the operator's and the caller's words.
Commissioner Nicholas Scopetta first found out about the additional tape sometime after the March release of the others, the FDNY has said. An investigation by the department found that personnel reviewing the calls had misinterpreted instructions regarding what types of calls to disclose.
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