India diplomatic bag found in French Alps after 46 years

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  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    India diplomatic bag found in French Alps after 46 years

    30 August 2012 Last updated at 02:02 ET

    The bag contained mail from India's foreign ministry

    A bag carrying diplomatic mail from India has been found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps, close to where an Air India plane crashed 46 years ago.

    The jute bag was recovered by a mountain rescue worker and his neighbour after some tourists spotted it on a glacier last week.

    The Indian embassy in Paris told the AFP news agency that it would begin efforts to retrieve the bag.

    The Air India plane flying from Mumbai to New York crashed in January 1966.

    All 117 people on board died.

    The bag recovered from the glacier has markings saying "Diplomatic mail" and "Ministry of External Affairs", as the foreign ministry is called in India.

    "Some tourists came and told us they had seen something shining on the Bossons glacier," rescue worker Arnaud Christmann told AFP.

    'A dump'
    "We found pieces of the cabin, a shoe, cables - it's a real dump up there!"

    Mr Christmann said the diplomatic bag was "sitting as if someone had just placed it there".

    "We were hoping for diamonds or at least a few gold ingots. Instead we got some soaking wet mail and Indian newspapers," he said.

    "It's not the sort of thing you find very often in the mountains - the mail's going to arrive 46 years late."

    The bag has been handed over to the police in the town of Chamonix at the base of the mountain.

    The Indian embassy in Paris said on Wednesday that it had not been informed of the discovery but officials would be looking into it to recover the bag.
     
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  3. Daredevil

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    46 years later, Indian diplomatic bag discovered on Mt Blanc

    GRENOBLE (France): A bag of Indian diplomatic mail is set to be delivered more than 46 years late after it was found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps, close to where an Air India plane crashed in January 1966.

    The jute bag, stamped "Diplomatic mail" and " Ministry of External Affairs", was recovered by mountain rescue worker Arnaud Christmann and his neighbour Jules Berger on August 21.

    "Some tourists came and told us they had seen something shining on the Bossons glacier," so he and his neighbour decided to go have a look, Christmann told AFP on Wednesday. "We found pieces of the cabin, a shoe, cables - it's a real dump up there!"

    The two men also came across a plane wheel and, 20 metres (yards) further on, the diplomatic bag that was "sitting as if someone had just placed it there."

    "We were hoping for diamonds or at least a few gold ingots. Instead we got some soaking wet mail and Indian newspapers," Christmann quipped. "It's not the sort of thing you find very often in the mountains -- the mail's going to arrive 46 years late."

    The Kangchenjunga, a Boeing 707 flying from Mumbai (Bombay) to New York, crashed on the southwest face of Mont Blanc, western Europe's highest mountain, on January 24, 1966 as it descended towards a scheduled stopover in Geneva, Switzerland. All 117 people on board died.

    The diplomatic bag was handed over to police in the town of Chamonix at the base of the mountain. The Indian embassy in Paris said Wednesday it had not been informed of the discovery but that officials would be looking into it with a view to recovering the bag.

    In September 2008, well-known climber Daniel Roche discovered Indian newspapers dated January 23, 1966 in the same area. Roche also came across part of an engine from the Malabar Princess, another Air India plane which had crashed in a virtually identical location in 1950.
     

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