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Pa. senator wants state to pay crash cleanup bill

Friday, February 28, 2003

By The Associated Press

SOMERSET, Pa. -- Somerset County is getting another chance at being reimbursed for the cleanup of the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site.

State Sen. Richard Kasunic, D-Somerset, said he introduced a bill Wednesday that would pay the county $64,000 to cover outstanding crash-related costs.

In the hours after the crash, the county responded by paying for heavy machinery and phone service needed when investigators descended to the crash site.

It is believed that some of the passengers and crew fought back against the terrorists who were trying to attack a target in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001.

"The Flight 93 tragedy could have occurred anywhere in Pennsylvania," Kasunic said in a statement.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency earlier declined the cash-strapped county's request for assistance after the airliner crashed during the terrorist attacks. The FBI has already paid the county about $188,000, but the remaining debt forced the county to use its reserves to balance the budget.

Although bankrupt United Airlines has already spent about $850,000 to reclaim and monitor the site, the airline's insurer is still considering the county's request.

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