Surveyors find 9/11 plane landing gear in Lower Manhattan

The medical examiner's office plans to search for Sept. 11 human remains in an alley behind a mosque near the World Trade Center where airplane landing gear was suddenly discovered.

The rusted landing gear piece is believed to be from one of two hijacked airliners that decimated the twin towers in 2001, exploding with fiery debris and killing thousands of people.

On Saturday, yellow police tape blocked access to a metal door that leads to the hidden alley behind 51 Park Place.

The chief medical examiner's spokeswoman, Ellen Borakove, said the area first will be tested as part of a standard health and safety evaluation for possible toxicity. She said sifting for human remains is to begin Tuesday morning.

Retired fire department deputy chief Jim Riches, who lost his son in the terror attack, visited the site on Saturday. He said the latest news left him feeling "upset."

"The finding of this landing gear," he said, "just goes to show that we need federal people in here to do a comprehensive, full search of lower Manhattan to make sure that we don't get any more surprises," as happened in 2007 when body parts were discovered in nearby sewers and manhole covers.

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