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Debris where 9/11 plane part found sifted for remains

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NEW YORK (CNN) - New York City officials will begin sifting through soil for human remains today at a site where a part believed to be from one of the 9/11 airliners was found.

A Boeing Company technician confirmed that the piece, discovered last week, is a support structure from a trailing edge flap found on the wing of a Boeing 767 like the ones that were flown into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. It could not be determined from which of the two planes the part came, police said Monday.

The piece was found in an 18-inch gap between two buildings near ground zero. One of the buildings is 51 Park Place, the site of a controversial Islamic community center. Surveyors who found the piece called authorities to report that they'd found "apparently damaged machinery," police said. Contrary to an initial theory that the piece could have been lowered by a rope found still wrapped to it, the police department clarified Monday that a police officer had attached the rope last week to maneuver the part to better see a serial number and other indicators.

The plane part is about 5 feet long, 4 feet wide and 17 inches deep, police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Investigators are still trying to determine how the support structure became wedged into such a small space.

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