By Chris Francescani
NEW YORK, April 29 Boeing Co. said it was
confident that a piece of aircraft, found wedged between two
buildings in lower Manhattan recently, came from one of two
airplanes that struck the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
Authorities are still trying to determine which of the two
planes the piece of wreckage came from.
A Boeing Co. representative confirmed to the New York
Police Department that wreckage discovered last week, in a
narrow alleyway behind 51 Park Place and 50 Murray Street in
Manhattan's financial district, "is believed to be from one of
the two aircraft destroyed on September 11, 2001, but it could
not be determined which one," Paul Browne, NYPD's chief
spokesman, said on Monday.
The plane part, known as a trailing edge flap
actuation support structure, comes from underneath the wing of
the plane, not the landing gear, as was initially believed,
Browne said in a statement Monday.
The wreckage includes a "clearly visible" Boeing
identification number, Browne said last week. It was wedged one
story above ground level.
Browne said the discovery of the piece, which measures about
5 feet high (1.5 meters) and 3 feet wide (0.9 meter), was made
on April 24 by a construction crew inspecting the rear of the
Park Place building.
Police secured the area between the buildings and treated it
as a potential crime scene, Browne said.
Nearly 12 years after two commercial airliners smashed into
the two Manhattan skyscrapers, destroying them and killing
nearly 3,000 people, city officials continue to turn up debris
from the attack and to identify human remains.
The NYPD is working with the New York City medical
examiner's office as it prepares to sift the soil around the
site where the plane part was found for more evidence.
This month, the medical examiner's office said 39 possible
human remains were discovered in 9/11 debris hauled years ago to
the New York City borough of Staten Island.
Since 2006, the painstaking work has led to 34 new positive
identifications of victims, according to CBS News. Around 1,000
families have never recovered any remains of their lost
For some 9/11 victims' families, the continuing discoveries
of human remains and wreckage debris is a recurring reminder of
the trauma they suffered as a result of the World Trade Center
"It's been a form of torture for these New York families to
find out, year after year, that more body parts, more remains
have been discovered and identified,'' said Debra Burlingame, a
member of the 9/11 Memorial Foundation, whose brother Captain
Charles Frank piloted American Airlines Flight 77, which was
hijacked and struck the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
"And finding a piece of airplane wreckage makes them wonder,
'Maybe there's a piece of my husband, or my brother, or sister
or mom in those buildings that were never recovered.'"
Burlingame said she doesn't fault the construction workers
that found the most recent wreckage. Rather, she's simply
reminded again of all the grief, she said on Monday.
"They have been haunted by these discoveries, year in and
year out," she said.
The land surveyor who made the discovery told the New York
Daily News that when he understood what he had stumbled upon, he
"I realized later - this is a piece of a murder weapon lying
there," surveyor Frank Van Brunt told the paper.
Calls to Van Brunt were not immediately returned.