Mont Blanc
Indian diplomatic bag found in Mont Blanc 46 years after Air India tragedy. Reuters

A diplomatic bag containing mail from the Indian foreign office has been found on Mont Blanc at the French Alps, close to where an Air India plane crashed in 1966.

The jute bag was labelled "Diplomatic Mail" and "External Affairs Ministry". It was spotted by mountain rescue worker Arnaud Christmann on 21 August, after he and his neighbour were alerted to some shining objects in the glacier by tourists.

"Some tourists came and told us they had seen something shining on the Bossons glacier," Christmann told AFP.

"We found pieces of the cabin, a shoe, cables - it's a real dump up there!"

"The diplomatic bag was sitting as if someone had just placed it there. We were hoping for diamonds or at least a few gold ingots. Instead, we got some soaking wet mail and Indian newspapers."

"It's not the sort of thing you find very often in the mountains - the mail's going to arrive 46 years late."

The Indian Embassy in Paris will begin efforts to retrieve the bag, AFP reported. The bag is in the possession of the Chamonix police, at the base of Mont Blanc.

Indian Embassy officials maintained that they were not informed officially about the discovery.

An Air India plane from Mumbai to New York crashed in the French Alps on 24 January 1966, killing all 117 people on board.