TODAY   |  April 27, 2013

Piece of 9/11 jet found in Manhattan

More than 11 years after 9/11, a piece of landing gear, believed to be from one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers, has been found. Authorities say workers inspecting the building made the startling discovery, and it is being treating as a crime scene. NBC’s Rehema Ellis reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> begin this morning, this hour with the discovery of what appears to be part of a jet that hit the world trade center on september 11 .

>> rehema lel is ellis is in lower manhattan with more this morning. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. i'm about two blocks from ground zero and investigators want to get a closer look at what is wedged between two buildings behind me where police are now standing guard. it appears to be part of the jet's landing gear . four feet by five feet in a narrow alley way. you can just make out the word boeing and identification numbers.

>> about 86 feet from --

>> reporter: new york's police commissioner inspected the site himself, saying they're assuming the battered metal is part of the landing gear from one of the planes that destroyed the world trade center , killing almost 3,000 people.

>> the medical examiner will do an examination of the area around the part to see if it is toxic in any way. he'll also check to see if there is any human remains at the site.

>> reporter: authorities say workers inspecting the building made the startling discovery earlier this week. in a strange turn of events the alley lies right behind that proposed controversial islamic cultural center that was subject to intense criticism for being so close to ground zero . now the discovery comes just as the city has stepped up efforts to identify the remains of 9/11 victims.

>> it's kind of scary they're still finding bits and pieces.

>> reporter: how the aircraft part got into the narrow space is a mystery.

>> could it have been lowered at sometime? it's possible. there is a road on it. looks like it's intertwined with that part.

>> reporter: the area has been secured as a crime scene and as the commissioner pointed out the medical examiner will be here on monday to investigate the site. it will be documented with photographs. they're also going to try and figure out how they will remove it, if they will remove it. erica and lester?