Army bomb disposal officers were called to the Middlesbrough site on Wednesday night to deal with what was first believed only to be ammunition. But further investigations today revealed it was part of the wreckage of a German plane - which could still contain the bodies of the crew.
The site has been cleared and rail traffic was stopped for a while as police feared there may still be live ammunition and bombs on board the plane. A machine gun, part of a propeller, wheels, part of the undercarriage and a parachute have been found.
John Keenan, engineer in charge of the site for N-Tec, the consultants overseeing the work, saw the debris as it was discovered.
He said: "The first thing we found was the ammunition but then it became almost like a time capsule. The plane isn't in one piece. The wreckage was charred so it must have caught fire when it crashed. It was just underground because it came down in soft clay. We knew it was German because we found a metal plate with writing and a serial number on. The machine gun we found was in very good condition and even had a bullet still in the barrel. We also found a woollen jumper."Reuse content