Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • US evacuates embassy in Libya amid militia clashes

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Americas

‘9/11 plane’ landing gear fragment found in New York

© AFP

Video by Sammy BERRAHMOUN

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-27

A rusty fragment of landing gear believed to be from one of the hijacked planes used in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has been found wedged between two buildings near the World Trade Centre, New York police said on Friday.

A rusted 5-foot (1.5-meter)-tall piece of landing gear believed to be from one of the hijacked planes destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks has been discovered near the World Trade Center wedged between a luxury apartment building and a mosque site that once prompted virulent national debate about Islam and free speech.

The twisted metal part, jammed in an 18-inch (460-millimeter)-wide sliver of open space between the buildings, has cables and levers on it and is about 17 inches (431 millimeters) wide and 4 feet (1.2 meters) long, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday.

"It’s a manifestation of a horrific terrorist act a block and a half away from where we stand," he said. "So, sure, it brings back terrible memories to anyone who was here or who was involved in that event."

Kelly edged down the narrow passageway to look at the object Friday evening, noting there is also a piece of rope intertwined with the part in what looks like a broken pulley that may have come down from the roof of the site of the planned Islamic community center, at 51 Park Place.

The piece of equipment was discovered Wednesday by surveyors inspecting the lower Manhattan site of a planned Islamic community center on behalf of the building’s owner, police said.

An inspector was on the roof and noticed the debris and then called police, who secured the scene, documenting it with photos.

It includes a clearly visible Boeing Co. identification number, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.

"The odds of this being wedged between there is amazing," Browne said, adding it was not surprising that it went undiscovered for more than a decade given the location. "It had to have fallen just the right way to make it into that space."

Other World Trade Center wreckage had been discovered at the buildings and around the area in years past.

Police detectives and National Transportation Safety Board investigators will determine whether the equipment is from the American Airlines plane or the United Airlines plane that slammed into the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, destroying the towers and killing nearly 3,000 people.

When plans for the Islamic center, about three blocks from ground zero, were made public in 2010, opponents said they didn’t want a mosque so close to where Islamic extremists attacked. They argued the site was "sacred" because landing gear from one of the hijacked Boeing 767 jets had punctured the roof of the building on Sept. 11.

During street protests, they clashed with supporters of the center, who said it would promote harmony between Muslims and followers of other faiths.

The building includes a Muslim prayer space that has been open for three years. After protests died down, the center hosted its first exhibit last year. The space remains under renovation.

Donna Marsh O’Connor, who lost her daughter Vanessa Lang Langer in the attacks and is a member of September 11th Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow, called the landing gear discovery "bizarre."

O’Connor is a supporter of the Islamic center and said the fact that the plane fragment was found there "makes me think that this was the right place for a center that was going to heal the divide."

In a statement, Sharif El-Gamal, the president of Soho Properties, which owns 51 Park Place, said workers called the city and the police as soon as they discovered the landing gear. He said the company is cooperating with the city and the police to make sure the piece of equipment "is removed with care as quickly and effectively as possible."

The medical examiner’s office will complete a health and safety evaluation to determine whether to sift the soil around the buildings for possible human remains, police said.

Patricia Riley, whose sister Lorraine Riley was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, called the landing gear discovery "very strange."

"Twelve years later we are still finding remnants of the attack on our country," she said. "... For years to come we’ll continue to find things that we didn’t see before. Hopefully, they’ll serve as a reminder that we have to stay vigilant."

Outside the Islamic center building, known as Park51, a police officer stood next to the door on Friday and a police barricade was set up to contain the many journalists who had gathered to try to see the piece of the plane.

The landing gear could not be seen from the sidewalk so commuters rushed by and looked quizzically at the gathering.

Among the bystanders was one immersed in the legacy of the attacks: Van Vanable, heading home from his job as an ironworker building the new 1 World Trade Center.

"Amazing," he said of the find. "There’s still pieces to the puzzle."

The Park51 space, a former Burlington Coat factory, is a five-story, mildly run-down building. Renovations are expected to take years and would add an auditorium, a pool, a restaurant and culinary school, a child care facility and artist studios.

The piece of plane is wedged in an alley space between that building and 50 Murray St., a luxury loft rental building.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-04-27

  • CINEMA

    Bin Laden film sparks misguided torture debate

    Read more

  • New York

    US commemorates 11th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

    Read more

  • USA

    9/11 accused in chaotic first court appearance

    Read more

COMMENT(S)