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New York police search for parachutists who landed near Ground Zero

By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Police in New York are searching for two men who appear to have parachuted onto a lower Manhattan street near Ground Zero before dawn on Monday and disappeared, authorities said.

Two men wearing black suits and black helmets were spotted by a security camera alighting onto a street near Goldman Sachs Group Inc's lower Manhattan headquarters at 3:07 a.m. Monday, the New York Police Department's chief spokesman, John McCarthy, said.

The pair landed near 200 West Street, a 43-story office tower located several blocks west of One World Trade Center, one of the sites of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Cameras near the site captured the final descent, but authorities have yet to determine whether the men jumped from a nearby rooftop or out of an aircraft.

"They were seen walking with parachutes away from the location," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said after a departmental promotion ceremony on Monday, local media reported.

"No banners, notes were left," Kelly said. "They walked away from the (security) camera. We don't know how they left."

McCarthy said the NYPD investigation is ongoing and declined further comment.

(Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler)