(CBS) -- A 5-foot-long chunk of airplane debris found near the World Trade Center site is believed to be a piece of landing gear from one of the planes that hit the towers more than 11 years ago, NBC 4 New York first reported.
Police confirmed Friday that the part was found wedged between two buildings in a very narrow alley between the rear of 50 Murray St. and back of 51 Park Place, the site where a mosque and community center has been proposed three blocks from ground zero.
The part bears a "Boeing" stamp, followed by a series of numbers.
NYPD said the landing gear was found after surveyors hired by the property owner inspecting the rear of 51 Park Place called police on Wednesday.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said officials have secured the location "as it would a crime scene," and investigators are photographing the scene and restricting access until the medical examiner completes a health and safety evaluation.
Officials said the soil below could also be searched for remains.
On Sept. 11, American Airlines flight 11 hit the north tower at 8:46 a.m., and United Flight 175 hit the south tower at 9:03 a.m.
The rubble from the 9/11 attack was cleared from the 16-acre site by the spring of 2002. Other debris, including human remains, has been found scattered outside the site, including on a rooftop and in a manhole, in years since.