Indian newspapers from a 1966 plane crash found on a melting glacier in France: reports


National Herald and Economic Times are among a dozen newspapers discovered on the glacier. (AFP)

London: Copies of Indian newspapers with headlines such as “First Woman Prime Minister of India”, referring to the electoral victory of Indira Gandhi in 1966, were recovered from the melting of the French Bossons glacier on the mountain range from Mont Blanc in Western Europe, 54 years after an Air India plane crashed there.

The newspapers belong to the residue of an Air India plane which crashed on the highest mountain in Europe on January 24, 1966 and were discovered by Timothee Mottin, who runs the La Cabane du Cerro coffee shop at a altitude of 1350 meters above the French resort of Chamonix.

“They are drying now, but they are in very good condition. You can read them, “said Mottin, 33, at the French daily newspaper” Le Daupine Libere “, quoted by The Guardian and other agencies in the United Kingdom.

“It’s not unusual. Whenever we walk on the glacier with friends, we find remains of the accident. With experience, you know where they are. They are transported by the glacier according to their size, ”he said.

The Air India Boeing 707 crashed into the range after poor verbal communication of flight controls, resulting in the loss of 177 passengers and crew.

Copies of the “National Herald” and “Economic Times” are among a dozen newspapers discovered by Mr. Mottin, whose cafe is about a 45-minute walk from the Bossons Glacier, where the plane named after the Himalayan summit of Kangchenjunga has mysteriously crashed over 54 years since.

Mr. Mottin said he had a chance to discover the papers when he did because the ice in which they had been locked for almost six decades had probably melted. Once the papers are dry, they will join a growing collection of crash articles that Mr. Mottin has displayed in his cafe to share with visitors.

Since 2012, there have been a number of discoveries related to the Air India crash in 1966 emerging from the melting of the ice caps.

In 2012, a diplomatic mail bag, stamped “On Indian Government Service, Diplomatic Mail, Ministry of External Affairs”, was recovered, while a year later a French climber found a metal box containing the logo of Air India containing emeralds, sapphires and rubies valued between 117,000 GBP and 230,000 GBP.

The human remains found in the region in 2017 are also believed to be due to the crash of 1966 or that of another Indian aircraft, the Malabar Princess, which fell in the region in 1950.


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