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An Indian diplomatic bag 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 neighbor 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.

An Indian diplomatic bag has been found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps, close to where an Air India plane crashed 46 years ago

An Indian diplomatic bag has been found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps, close to where an Air India plane crashed 46 years ago

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.

“We found pieces of the cabin, a shoe, cables – it’s a real dump up there!”

Arnaud 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.

 

At least six climbers have been killed and eight injured in an avalanche near the French Alpine ski resort of Chamonix, police say.

The alarm was sounded at 05:25 local time by one of the injured on the slopes of Mont Maudit.

Foreigners are thought to be among the victims. The injured were airlifted to a local hospital.

At least six climbers have been killed and eight injured in an avalanche near the French Alpine ski resort of Chamonix

At least six climbers have been killed and eight injured in an avalanche near the French Alpine ski resort of Chamonix

The mountain is known as a popular route for summer tourists heading for the summit of Mont Blanc.

The climbers are believed to have been roped together in several groups when the avalanche struck.

About 28 climbers from several countries are said to have taken part in the expedition, and reports say a number of them are still missing.

Rescue teams are using a helicopter and heat-seeking device to try to locate the missing.

The local authorities described the avalanche as “the most deadly” in recent years, according to the AFP news agency.

Mont Maudit – meaning the cursed mountain – is the third-highest peak in the Mont Blanc massif range, rising to 4,465 m (14,650 ft).

A news conference in Chamonix is expected shortly.