By Chris Francescani
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A piece of landing gear believed to be from one of the commercial airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, has been discovered wedged between two lower Manhattan buildings, police said on Friday.
The piece of landing gear discovered in a narrow alleyway behind 51 Park Place and 50 Murray Street in Manhattan's financial district includes a "clearly visible" Boeing identification number, according to a New York City Police spokesman.
The discovery was made on Wednesday by a construction crew inspecting the rear of the Park Place building, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
The piece of landing gear, wedged one story above ground, is about 5 feet high and 3 feet wide.
New York police officials have secured the area between the buildings and are treating it as a potential crime scene, said Browne.
Nearly 12 years after two commercial airlines smashed into the two Manhattan skyscrapers, toppling both and killing nearly 3,000 people, city officials continue to turn up debris from the attack and identify human remains.
It will be up to the New York City medical examiner's office to determine whether to sift the soil around the site where the landing gear has been found for more evidence.
This month, the medical examiner's office said that 39 potential human remains were recently discovered in 9/11 debris hauled years ago to Staten Island, according to CBS News.
Since 2006, the painstaking work has led to 34 new positive identifications of victims.
(Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Paul Thomasch, James Dalgleish and Kenneth Barry)
(This story corrects date of discovery)