NEW YORK — The rusted metal aircraft part believed to be from one of the hijacked jetliners that slammed into the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks came from a wing, not landing gear, police said Monday.
The 5-foot piece is a trailing edge flap support structure, police said. It is located closer to the body of the plane and helps secure wing flaps that move in and out and aid in regulating plane speed. Investigators initially thought it was part of the landing gear because both pieces have similar-looking hydraulics.
Boeing officials told police the part came from one of its 767 airliners, but it is not possible to determine which flight. Both hijacked planes that struck the towers, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were Boeing 767s. American and United had no comment.
Workers discovered the part Wednesday on the ground in a sliver of space between a luxury loft rental building and a mosque, which prompted virulent national debate in 2010 about Islam and freedom of speech in part because it is near the trade center site. Other World Trade Center wreckage has been discovered at the buildings and around the area in years past.
An inspector on the roof of the mosque site, which is under construction, noticed the debris and then called 911.