Written by Matthew Harper. Media by Bobby Williams.
Nearly 12 years after the attack that terrified our nation, new debris from one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center towers has been discovered. Just behind the site of a controversial Islamic community center near Ground Zero, a 5-foot piece of landing gear was found on Wednesday, April 17.
The part was found stuck in a narrow alley and a clear Boeing identification number on the piece is being used to figure out which of the two planes it belonged to—either United Airlines Flight 175 or American Airlines Flight 11. According to Reuters, the area between the buildings where the part was found has been secured and is being treated as a potential crime scene, as it’s not known for sure yet whether the piece landed there and was only just now discovered or if it was placed there by someone. Reasons for believing the debris could have been placed there include a broken pulley and piece of rope found with the part. New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly would not dismiss the possibility of the piece having been lowered into the small alley in which it was found (BBC News).
The now police-secured alley, behind 51 Park Place and 50 Murray Street, has been thoroughly photographed and will reportedly be searched for any possible human remains. The area will remain secured and off-limits until the New York medical examiner’s office has made an official health assessment and determined whether or not any other debris or remains are also to be found in the narrow alley, which is only about 18 inches wide.
It will be up to the National Transportation Safety Board to determine which plane the part belonged to. CNN cites Boeing spokesman John Dern as confirming that his company has been asked by officials to “examine the images to see what can be determined.” Both United Airlines and American Airlines, however, have declined to comment on the debris discovery as of yet.
Though many thousands of days have passed since the attacks of 9/11, the horrors of that day will never leave the memories of the people who experienced it. When reminders like this piece of landing gear are found, it brings back a flood of emotions for the people of New York. “It’s a manifestation of a horrific terrorist act a block and a half away from [the alley],” Ray Kelly said on Friday. “It brings back terrible memories to anyone who was here, who was involved in the event” (BBC News).