9/11 Survivor in Iconic Photo Caked in Dust Dies

BAYONNE, N.J. (AP) -

A New Jersey woman shown covered in dust in an iconic photo taken after the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City died Monday night after a battle with stomach cancer.

Marcy Borders, 42, of Bayonne was working on the 81st floor inside one of the Twin Towers during the attack, but she managed to escape the building. She told reporters afterward that as the north tower crumbled before her eyes, a stranger pulled her into a building lobby, out of harm’s way. The striking image of her was captured by Stan Honda with AFP.

Last year, Borders said she had avoided looking at the photo as much as possible because “I don’t want to be a victim anymore.” She said her traumatic experience caused her to fall into a decade-long depression.

Borders learned she had stomach cancer in August 2014 and she underwent chemotherapy. At the time, the mother of two questioned if her cancer was related to 9/11.

“I’m saying to myself ‘Did this thing ignite cancer cells in me?’” she said. “I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses. I don’t have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes …”

Researchers have not yet determined whether exposure to toxins made anyone more likely to get cancer.