Human Remains on Mont Blanc Could Be Decades Old

Daniel Roche found a hand, part of a leg
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2017 7:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – Daniel Roche's quest is an unusual one. As the AFP reports, he's been searching Mont Blanc's Bossons Glacier for years, looking for decades-old body parts. They could very likely be there: Two Air India flights crashed on the mountain, one in 1950 and one in 1966. And for the first time, he's found "significant human remains." On Thursday Roche discovered a hand and upper portion of a leg. The remains are being examined; Stephane Bozon of the gendarmerie expects they belong to two different passengers.

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The 1950 crash killed 48 people; 16 years later, 117 were killed when an Air India Boeing 707 en route from Bombay to New York crashed near the summit. An accident report concluded in part that the pilot "who, under the mistaken impression that he had passed the ridge leading to the summit and was still at a flight level which afforded sufficient safety clearance over the top of Mont Blanc, continued his descent," crashing into the mountain. A BBC report quotes a mountain guide who went to the scene afterward: "Everything was completely pulverized. Nothing was identifiable except for a few letters and packets." (A receding glacier revealed a couple frozen for 75 years.)

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