Twin towers may be replaced in five years

War on Terrorism: New York planning
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The Independent US

The 110-storey towers of the World Trade Centre may be replaced by towers half as tall in as little as five years, the site's leaseholder said on Wednesday after meeting New York's new Mayor.

The 110-storey towers of the World Trade Centre may be replaced by towers half as tall in as little as five years, the site's leaseholder said on Wednesday after meeting New York's new Mayor.

Larry Silverstein, who leads a consortium that holds the $3.2bn (£2.2bn) lease, said it would include a memorial for the victims. "I'm going to give you the next five, six, seven years of my life to make sure this gets done," he said.

Mr Silverstein could not yet say how many towers were planned but said: "Fifty-storey towers are very much accomplishable". However, how long would be needed for decisions from the new Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation, the City Council, the Mayor and the Governor was not clear. Studies would be presented soon to Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor-elect .

The consortium is counting on an insurance payout of $7.2bn to rebuild the site, which will be paid only if the attacks are considered as two separate events. SR International Business Insurance, a British firm responsible for 22 per cent of the insurance, says in a lawsuit that a single terrorist act destroyed the centre.

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