workers at Ground Zero have discovered hundreds of gold ingots, part of
a billion dollar cache which was lost when the twin towers fell.
Workers clearing rubble in a service tunnel underneath one of the
collapsed World Trade Centre buildings found themselves surrounded by
more than 100 armed FBI and secret service personnel, who had been
tipped off by the owners where the gold was buried. The collapsed buildings contained a number of vaults and strongrooms, but the police were not saying who owned the gold.
The Comex metals trading division of the New York Mercantile
Exchange kept 3,800 gold bars — weighing 12 tonnes and worth more than
$100 million (£70 million) — in vaults in the building’s basement.
Comex also held almost 800,000 ounces of gold there on behalf of others
with a value of about $220 million. It also held more than 102 million
ounces of silver, worth $430 million.
The Bank of Nova Scotia, which kept gold in the Comex vault,
reported $200 million of gold lost in the wreckage. Comex also held
precious metals for Chase Manhattan Bank, the Bank of New York and Hong
Kong and Shanghai Banking.
The vaults higher up the towers became burial chambers on
September 11 as some workers tried in vain to protect themselves from
the fire and smoke by taking refuge inside them.
The gold, which was discovered on Tuesday, was being
transported through the basement of the building on the morning of
September 11. Recovery workers reached a service tunnel and discovered
a ten-wheel lorry and a number of cars which had been crushed by
A temporary ramp was built to gain access to the tunnel and a
small bulldozer was used to break through a wall. Then a team of police
and firefighters arrived to put the gold into an armoured bullion
lorry. Other workers were told to make themselves scarce. “If I tried
to go down there they would have shot me,” one said.
Eight years ago, when the World Trade Centre was bombed by
terrorists, more than $1 billion in gold was being kept in the basement
vaults, the property of the Kuwaiti Government. The vaults withstood
At first police believed the terrorist attack was an attempted
gold robbery. Since then the amount of gold kept under the World Trade
Centre has been a carefully guarded secret.