'68 Himalayas Crash Site Yields a Body

India retrieves an army officer 45 years later

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 1, 2013 6:11 AM CDT | Updated Sep 1, 2013 9:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Indian army lost 102 personnel in 1968 when a transport plane vanished in the Himalayas, and 45 years later the military is bringing the body of one of them home. A scouting mission in dangerous terrain at 18,000 feet recovered the body of Havaldar Jagmail Singh, identified through papers in his pocket—including a letter from home, reports the BBC. Singh's is only the fifth body recovered since the crash, and his remains will be returned to his native village with full military honors, reports the Times of India.

The Soviet-made Antonov 12 went down on the Dhakka glacier in bad winter weather, but its whereabouts remained a mystery until 2003, when mountaineers came across the plane's wreckage by chance, explains the Hindu. One body was found at the time, and three others in subsequent searches. The army says it will continue searching for more bodies, despite the hostile, sub-zero weather and the passing of nearly five decades. Click for more on an Alaskan glacier that's finally giving up victims of a 1952 plane crash.

File photo of peaks in the Himalayas.
File photo of peaks in the Himalayas.   (Shutterstock)
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