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Prime Minister Modi unveils memorial for victims of two Air India crashes in 1950 and 1966 in Mont Blanc, France

The memorial is also built as a tribute to India's greatest nuclear physicist and father of the Indian nuclear programme, Homi Jehangir Bhabha who was killed in an air crash along with other 117 people on board at the Mont Blanc Massif on January 24, 1966. 

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a memorial for the victims of the two Air India plane crashes in Saint Gervais, near the French Alps via video conference on Friday.

According to the reports, PM Narendra Modi remotely unveiled the Memorial for Air India crash victims in two separate aeroplane crashes in 1950 and 1966 at Saint Gervais at a community event in Paris.

The memorial is built in the form of a cairn with a stack of stones. According to the officials, the monument is symbolic of “perfectly aligned thoughts” and ties of the two countries.

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The memorial is also built as a tribute to India’s greatest nuclear physicist and father of the Indian nuclear programme, Homi Jehangir Bhabha who was killed in an air crash along with other 117 people on board at the Mont Blanc Massif on January 24, 1966.

“Air India flight AI 245, “MALABAR PRINCESS” and AI 101 “KANCHENJUNGA” met with air crashes in Mont Blanc Massif on 3rd November 1950 and 24th January 1966 respectively.  Hundreds of Indians lives were lost in these unfortunate incidents. Renowned nuclear scientist of India Dr HOMI JEHANGIR BHABHA passed away in the accident on 24th January 1966, On behalf of India and France” read the tribute plank at the memorial.

The Malabar Princess, a Lockheed L-749A Constellation aircraft which was travelling from Bombay to London had crashed at the Mont Blanc Massif, killing all 48 people on board.

Sixteen years later, on January 24, 1966, another Air India flight AI 101 Kanchenjunga travelling from Bombay to London had crashed virtually at the same spot, killing all 117 people on board including renowned nuclear physicist Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha. It was a Boeing 707–437 aircraft.

During his visit to France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed the Indian community at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. PM Modi on Thursday held wide-ranging talks with French President Emmanuel Macron during which the two leaders discussed issues of bilateral and mutual interests to further boost the comprehensive strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday emplaned for Paris for the first leg of his three-nation visit to France, the UAE and Bahrain from August 22 to 26.

Prime Minister reached France on Thursday. In his departure statement, the Prime Minister said his visit to France reflects the strong strategic partnership which the two countries deeply value and share.

On August 22 and 23, he will have bilateral meetings in France, including a summit interaction with President Emmanuel Macron and a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

Next, PM Modi will travel to the United Arab Emirates on Friday where he would receive the ‘Order of Zayed’, the highest civilian decoration conferred by the UAE government. He is also scheduled to hold talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and also formally launch RuPay card to expand the network of cashless transactions abroad.

Modi will then visit Bahrain where he will hold talks with King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and also witness the formal beginning of the re-development of the temple of Shreenathji – the oldest in the Gulf region before returning to France on Sunday to attend the G7 Summit meetings.

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