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.
Local man Daniel Roche, who has spent years combing the Bossons Glacier looking for remains, made the discovery on Thursday of a hand and the upper part of a leg. “I had never found any significant human remains before,” he said.
On 24 January 1966, an Air India Boeing 707 registered VT-DMN on flight AI-101 from Bombay to London was descending towards Geneva (intermediate stop) and crashed near Mont Blanc’s summit, killing all 117 people on board. On 3 November 1950, Air India Flight AI-245, a Lockheed Super Constellation registered VT-CQP on a charter flight on the route Bombay-Istanbul-Geneva-London, had crashed at almost the same location with the loss of 48 crew and passengers.
Roche said the remains he had found could be from a female passenger on the 1966 Boeing 707 flight, as he also discovered one of the plane’s four jet engines.
Roche contacted emergency services in the Chamonix valley who took the remains down the mountain by helicopter for examination by experts.
“These remains are probably not from the same person,” said Stephane Bozon of the gendarmerie. “They are probably from passengers, but between the two aircraft, it’s difficult to say”.
Source: AFP and personal research