Mont Blanc massif
A paraglider flies in front of the Mont-Blanc mountain in Geneva. Reuters

Body parts found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps could belong to the victims of an air crash from over 50 years ago.

On Thursday (27 July), Daniel Roche, who spent years inspecting the Bossons Glacier looking for remains, revealed he had found the upper part of a leg.

"I had never found any significant human remains before," he told AFP.

Authorities are currently inspecting the remains, which could belong to a passenger from one of two Air India flights which crashed in region within 15 years of each other.

On 3 November 1950, Air India Flight 245 carrying 40 passengers and eight crew on a flight from Mumbai to London via Cairo and Geneva crashed on Mont Blanc, killing everyone on board.

On 24 January 1966, all 117 people on Air India Flight 101 perished as the plane crashed on Mont Blanc on its way from Mumbai to London.

Roche, who contacted the local emergency services in the Chamonix valley, carried the remains down the mountain by helicopter, in order to allow authorities to analyse them.

"These remains are probably not from the same person," Stephane Bozon, of the local gendarmerie - one of two national police forces of France - was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. "They are probably from passengers, but between the two aircraft, it's difficult to say."

However, Roche believes the remains belong to Air India Flight 101, adding he also found one of the Boeing 707–420's four engines.

The flight, which had stopped in Delhi and Beirut, was on its way to a third stopover in Geneva when a misunderstood verbal instruction from the radar controller to the pilot caused the plane to crash.

The cabin crew were instructed to descend towards Geneva International Airport after they had passed Mont Blanc, but the pilot began the descent too early, erroneously thinking he had already cleared the massif.