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Alps India Airplane crash Mont Blanc France

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Body parts on Mont Blanc may be from Air India crash 50 years ago

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A helicopter takes away the human remains from Mont Blanc Daniel Roche/Handout/AFP

Body parts found on Mont Blanc could belong to passengers of one of two Air India planes that crashed in the French Alps more than 50 years ago, police said Friday.


Local resident Daniel Roche, who has spent years combing the combing the Bossons Glacier on Mont Blanc for remains, found a frozen hand and the upper part of a leg on Tuesday.

"I had never found any significant human remains before," he told the AFP news agency.

Roche said the remains could be of a female passenger from an Air India Boeing 707 flight, which crashed near the mountain's summit in 1966, killing all 117 people on board, as he also discovered one of the plane’s four jet engines.

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

Roche contacted emergency services in the Chamonix valley who took the remains down the mountain by helicopter 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."

Two bodies found 10 days ago in a glacier in the Swiss Alps were found to belong to Marcelin Dumoulin, a 40-year-old shoemaker at the time, and his wife Francine, a schoolteacher aged 37, who disappeared 75 years ago.