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Debris from 1968 plane crash found on Swiss glacier

Keystone / Dominic Steinmann

Wreckage of a plane that crashed in 1968 has been found on the Aletsch glacier by a mountain guide.

The parts were discovered on Thursday by a mountain guide between Jungfraufirn glacier and Konkordiaplatz glacier confluence that fall under the Fieschertal municipality of canton Valais. Recovery work will be undertaken as soon as possible, the Valais cantonal police announced on Friday.

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Preliminary investigations indicate that the parts came from the wreckage of a Piper Cherokee aircraft under the registration HB-OYL. The plane had crashed in the area on June 30, 1968. At the time, the technical means to recover an aircraft wreck in difficult terrain were limited, the cantonal police said in a statement.

The Swiss Security Investigation Service (SESE) was informed of the discovery by the Swiss Air Force. As aviation accidents fall under federal jurisdiction, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office has also been informed.

Due to the melting of the glaciers, particularly in summer, it is possible that other pieces of wreckage will be released from the ice. If found, the authorities warn that these items should not be handled in order to avoid any risk of injury. They should be geolocated and reported to the police immediately, the statement said.

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