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What was in the 9/11 rubble: $500 million in gold & silver, confiscated drugs, 1,000 cars

DH Griffin was in charge of the Ground Zero clean-up.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — WFMY News 2 has talked to DH Griffin many times over the years. He was the point person on the Ground Zero clean-up. Many times, he's told us how he started as a volunteer and how he devised a plan to take down a 27-story piece of Tower 2.

But this week, marking the 20 years, I talked with him about details of the clean-up and things most of us never even thought of when it came to what was in the rubble.

“There were over 30 federal agencies that we had to deal with on a daily basis. There was $500 million worth of gold and silver inside some of the bank vaults inside the World Trade Center,” said DH Griffin.

“We had to work with the DEA, there were several hundred pounds of drugs onsite in the US Customs evidence rooms. Working through the red tape of 38 agencies a day was challenging but we had a great team and everyone had their heart in the right place to do the right thing.”

There were more than 1,000 cars in the basement garages. Griffin and his crew also had to deal with the Subway folks. There were two trains that ran underneath the WTC towers. 

Nothing was scooped up and thrown out. It was taken to two off-sites, where it was separated by hand as teams looked for not just the things he mentioned, but rings, watches, wallets that families wanted of their loved ones.

Griffin was at Ground Zero for nine months. His team was there for a full 19 months.