Police say part of a landing gear from one of the planes hijacked during September 11th may have been discovered behind a building in Lower Manhattan.
They say it was discovered Wednesday by surveyors hired to inspect the rear of 51 Park Place, where an Islamic community center that's been subject to controversy because of its close proximity to the site of the September 11th attacks resides.
The part has a clearly visible Boeing ID number on it, according to the NYPD.
By Thursday morning the landing gear had not yet been removed, but once it is fully documented, the part will be taken to the NYPD Property Clerk.
Police officials say they are treating the area as if it were a crime scene and will keep the area secured until it can be fully processed.
Authorities are exploring the possibility that the part was intentionally placed, as Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said a piece of rope was found wrapped around the wreckage.
"Somehow the part gets down there, could it have been lowered at some time? It's possible. There's a rope that's on it, looks like it's intertwined with that part," Kelly said.
A Park51 spokesperson says the center is working with authorities to remove the part carefully, effectively and quickly.
New Yorkers said they were shocked to hear about the appearance of the plane part.
"I think that's crazy considering we're just a few blocks from where the World Trade Center was, just shows you how powerful that blast was," one man said. "The fact that it was 10 years later and they just found it, who knows what else they're going to find?"
Others New Yorkers were not as surprised, especially considering the chaos following the attacks.
"Debris was everywhere, you could see it in the air, parts were flying all over the place," said one New Yorker. "It's upsetting because I'm now having a flashback to that awful day."
Jim Riches, a former deputy fire chief who lost his son on September 11th, said he was upset by the discovery.
"This is a smack to the face to all the families and the people that died that day," he said.
Riches, who spoke with NY1 while holding the grandchild named after his lost son, said the find made him think about the potential human remains that could still be uncovered in the area.
Authorities say the medical examiner will determine whether to sift the soil in the alley for possible human remains.