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Diplomatic mailbag discovered after four decades on ice

Undelivered post thought to have come from an Air India plane crash in 1966.

Photo provided by the Office de Haute Montagne de Chamonix
Photo provided by the Office de Haute Montagne de Chamonix
Image: AP Photo/Arnaud Christmann/OHM

AS THE ALPINE glacier melted, a curious discovery emerged after decades beneath the ice: a plane wheel, a shoe – and an intact pouch of Indian diplomatic mail from 1966.

It all appears to be part of the wreckage from an Air India plane crash that hikers and a rescue worker found this week on the slopes beneath Mont Blanc.

Rescuer Arnaud Christmann said the hikers alerted the tourist office in Chamonix that they had seen something beneath a glacier that looked like a wheel. He went to investigate and found pieces of the plane and “a gift from the mountain,” a bag containing Indian and English newspapers from 1966 and other documents, labeled “diplomatic mail.”

The Indian Embassy in Paris confirmed the discovery but gave no details.

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