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Human remains found on Mont Blanc may belong to Air India crash victims

In January 1966, an Air India Boeing 707 from Bombay to New York crashed near Mont Blanc’s summit, killing all 117 people on board

india Updated: Jul 31, 2017 10:14 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Grenoble, France
Mont Blanc,Air India,French Alps
This handout picture released on July 28, 2017, by Daniel Roche, who discovered body remains on the Mont Blanc, shows a hand, which could belong to a victim of one of two Air India crashes which occurred in 1950 and 1966, on the Mont Blanc massif, French Alps.(AFP Photo)

Body parts that could belong to passengers killed in one or other of two Air India plane crashes more than 50 years ago have been found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps, sources said Friday.

Daniel Roche, who is fascinated by air plane accidents and has spent years combing the Bossons Glacier looking for remains, made the discovery on Thursday.

“I had never found any significant human remains before,” he told AFP. This time however he had found a hand and the upper part of a leg.

In January 1966, an Air India Boeing 707 from Bombay to New York crashed near Mont Blanc’s summit, killing all 117 people on board.

The Hindustan Times front page on January 24, 1966. (HT Photo)

Another Air India flight crashed on the mountain in 1950, killing 48 people.

This handout picture shows an aircraft debris, which could be from one of two Air India crashes. (AFP Photo)

Roche said the remains he had found could be of a female passenger from the 1966 Boeing 707 flight, as he also discovered one of the plane’s four jet engines.

Roche contacted local emergency services in the Chamonix valley who took the remains down the mountain by helicopter and they were due to be examined by experts.

“These remains are probably not from the same person,” said Stephane Bozon of the local gendarmerie.

“They are probably from passengers, but between the two aircrafts, it’s difficult to say”.

This handout picture shows a piece of a leg, which could belong to a victim of one of two Air India crashes which occurred in 1950 and 1966, on the Mont Blanc massif, French Alps. (AFP)

Just 10 days ago, two bodies were found lying near each other, preserved in a receding glacier in the Diablerets massif in the Swiss Alps.

A DNA search identified the couple as Marcelin Dumoulin, a 40-year-old shoemaker at the time, and his wife Francine, a schoolteacher aged 37, who had disappeared in the Alps 75 years before.

First Published: Jul 29, 2017 10:28 IST