LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Almost 12 years after terrorists rammed jumbo jets into the Twin Towers, destroying the World Trade Center, authorities have discovered what they believe to be part of one of the planes that struck the towers on 9/11. The part, a piece of landing gear, came complete with the Boeing ID number, behind the site of the Ground Zero mosque.
The NYPD announced Friday that a part of the landing gear was found tucked on Wednesday morning between the rear of 51 Park Place and another property behind it, 50 Murray St., a few blocks away from where the towers stood from the early 1970s until Sept. 11, 2001.
“The NYPD is securing the location as it would a crime scene, documenting it photographically and restricting access until the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner completes its health and safety evaluation protocol, after which a decision will be made concerning sifting the soil for possible human remains,” the NYPD said in a statement.
Cops said the plane part was found after surveyors for the property owner were checking the back of 51 Park Place — the building where the controversial interfaith mosque was supposed to be — on Wednesday. They called 911 about 11 a.m. to report what they initially thought was damaged machinery .
“The aircraft part will not be removed until the process is completed, at which point it will secured by the NYPD Property Clerk.”
American Airlines and United Airlines have declined to comment on the discovery of the landing gear.
A spokesman from Boeing told CNN that once a part is sold to an airline, Boeing won’t be able to provide any information on it.
The owner of the property, Sharif El-Gamal, released a statement saying, “Soho Properties recently discovered a piece of the aircraft from the World Trade Center tragedy. We immediately alerted the City of New York and the New York Police Department, and they are currently removing the piece of evidence from the site. We are cooperating fully with the appropriate authorities to make sure this piece of evidence is removed with care as quickly and effectively as possible.”