|Mont Blanc, France
|Boeing 707 – VT-DMN – Kanchenjunga
|Bombay – Delhi – Beirut – Geneva – London – New York
|11 – 0 survivors
|106 – 0 survivors
The plane took off from Beirut as scheduled. At 07:00 the pilot reported to Geneva ACC that they were passing Mont Blanc. Two minutes later the plane crashed in the Glacier des Bossons on the southwest side of Mont Blanc in France at an elevation of 4,750 metres.
The reason for the crash was that the pilot miscalculated his position in relation to Mont Blanc, and the pilot also misunderstood the controller at the Geneva ATC who tried to correct the position. The plane therefore started the descent too early.
The wreckage was scattered over a wide area in rough terrain.
The plane carried mail from India to various countries in Europe (France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland is known). It seems as if only a small part of the mail was recovered.
A rescue helicopter brought down a small amount of mail to the French post office in Chamonix. Later some more mail was found and forwarded via Chamonix (March and September is known).
In 2008 a climber found some Indian newspapers.
On 21 August 2012 mountain rescue workers found a 9 kg. jute bag marked “On India Government Service, Diplomatic Mail, Ministry of External Affairs”. An official with the Indian Embassy in Paris took custody of the mailbag, which was found to be a “Type C” diplomatic pouch meant for newspapers, periodicals, and personal letters. The bag was flown back to New Delhi on a regular Air India flight.
In September 2013 a French alpinist found a metal box with the Air India logo. The box contained rubies, sapphires and emeralds worth more than $300,000, which he handed in to the police to be returned to the rightful owners .
Only two items addressed to the Nordic countries are known – both are shown below.
Size: 92 x 28 mm.
Recovered correspondence from Air India air plane accident
Examples of mail