French climber pockets $169,000 gems he found in 2013

WION Web Team
Grenoble, France Published: Dec 06, 2021, 01:03 PM(IST)

In 2013, the mountaineer stumbled upon the precious stones. Some fifty years earlier, they had been hidden inside a metal box that had been onboard an Indian plane that crashed in the barren landscape. Photograph:( AFP )

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The climbers often find debris from the two aircrafts, as well as baggage and human remains

Eight years after they were found, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires discovered on a glacier off France's Mont Blanc have been divided between the climber who uncovered them and local authorities.

In 2013, the mountaineer stumbled upon the precious stones. Some fifty years earlier, they had been hidden inside a metal box that had been onboard an Indian plane that crashed in the barren landscape.

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Chamonix Mayor Eric Fournier said the stones have been split this week into two equal lots worth around 150,000 euros ($169,000) each.

He expressed his satisfaction that events were in the process of coming to a final conclusion, particularly with regard to the climber, whose "integrity" in turning the find over to police made him a hero in his eyes.

In 1950 and 1966, two Air India planes crashed into Mont Blanc.

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The climbers often find debris from the two aircrafts, as well as baggage and human remains.

During September 2012, India took possession of a bag of diplomatic mail from Kangchenjunga. This was from a Boeing 707 flight from Mumbai that crashed on the southwest face of Mont Blanc on January 24, 1966.

Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the pioneer of India's nuclear programme, was one of 117 people killed in the crash.

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According to authorities, the precious stones likely came from the flight from Mumbai to New York.

In 2017, human remains were found on the site which are also suspected to have been from the 1966 crash or from the other Indian plane, the Malabar Princess, which went down in 1950.

(With inputs from agencies)

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