Cops investigate apparent landing gear found near Ground Zero

A police officer stands guard outside 51 Park Place. The building is being considered an active crime scene after a piece of landing gear from a Boeing 767 was discovered in a crevice behind it. Credit: Danielle Tcholakian.
A police officer stands guard outside 51 Park Place. The building is being considered an active crime scene after a piece of landing gear from a Boeing 767 was discovered in a crevice behind it. Credit: Danielle Tcholakian.

The NYPD reported on Friday that a piece of landing gear, seemingly from one of the airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, has been found behind the Park 51 Islamic cultural center.

Surveyors hired by the property owner were inspecting the area behind 51 Park Place on Wednesday, April 24, and called 911 around 11 a.m. to report what they apparently described as damaged machinery.

Con Edison is the owner of 51 Park Place, but has been leasing it for years to Soho Properties.

Soho Properties has been trying to develop it into an Islamic community center, but plans have been repeatedly delayed due to financial and legal troubles. The Islamic community center has also been the subject of a great deal of controversy, often referred to as the “Ground Zero mosque” due to plans to include a prayer space in the building.

The landing gear is wedged in an 18-inch space between 51 Park Place and 50 Murray Street, according to a diagram provided by police. It is more than 80 feet from the nearest entryway, a door behind 45 Park Place that lets out into 6-foot by 18-foot closed alley.

The NYPD provided this diagram depicting where the landing gear was found. Credit: NYPD.
The NYPD provided this diagram depicting where the landing gear was found. Credit: NYPD.

Over the weekend, NYPD officers were stationed in front of the entrance to 51 Park Place, which was cordoned off by police tape. The NYPD is treating the area as an active crime scene, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is slated to conduct a health and safety evaluation, and then decide whether to sift the surrounding soil for possible human remains.

The NYPD will not attempt to remove the part until the Medical Examiner’s investigation is complete.

The NYPD reported on Friday that the part had a clearly visible Boeing identification number. Crime Scene detectives reached out to Boeing officials who reportedly confirmed that the part is from a Boeing 767, the same type of plane that crashed into the World Trade Center towers on 9/11.

However, it is not known whether the part is from one of those specific planes.

The Post reported that the number, BOEING CSTG 65B84045, is a “casting number,” which is not unique to any one part or place, according to Alan Lery of Turbo Resources International, an Arizona-based aircraft-parts seller.

A Post source reportedly said investigators suspect it’s from the second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, which is believed to have scattered debris around the area after hitting the South Tower.

Wreckage from the 9/11 crashes were found this far from the site after the attack, though Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne reportedly told the New York Times he couldn’t remember the last time a large piece of wreckage from the attack was discovered. The Times noted that landing gear from one of the planes crashed through the roof of 43-45 Park Place during the attack 11 years ago. The building was at that time a Burlington Coat Factory outlet.

In a photo provided by the NYPD, a rope intertwined with the machinery is visible. Police are not ruling out the possibility that the airplane part may have been lowered down into the space from the roof, Police Commission Ray Kelly told the Times.

Police released this image of the landing gear, showing a piece of rope intertwined with the machinery. Credit: NYPD.
Police released this image of the landing gear, showing a piece of rope intertwined with the machinery. Credit: NYPD.

The Post reported that a piece of rope was also found on a nearby roof.

According to the Post, the landing gear is about 17 inches wide.

In noting its positioning in the 18-inch gap between the buildings, Browne said “the odds of it entering that space at exactly that angle that would permit it to squeeze in there, it had to come in at almost precisely the right angle.”

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.

NFL

Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.

NFL

Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…