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Gem finder wins cash from a crash

A young Frenchman has financially benefitted after finding gemstones, and being allowed to keep half, from a plane crash on Mont Blanc dating back to 1950.

Rescuers at the site of the 1950 Mont Blanc plane crash Photo: RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images.

A young Frenchman is 150,000 euros (£127,700) richer after he was allowed to keep half of a cache of precious stones he found on Mont Blanc in 2013.

The emeralds, sapphires and rubies were discovered inside a metal box thought to have come from one of two Indian planes that crashed into the mountain in 1950 and 1966. A total of 175 people died with no survivors.

The gems were found on the Bossons Glacier, more than 4,300 metres above Chamonix. The town’s mayor said local authorities had the first claim on them, but agreed to share the stones partly as a tribute to the finder’s honesty in handing them in.


An Austrian has died and several others are in intensive care after taking part in a so-called Covid party, in which attendees deliberately attempted to become infected with the virus.

The 55-year-old man died after a party in Bolzano, northern Italy. Police said fellow attendees had admitted hugging, kissing and sharing drinks with someone already infected.

In a separate case, police in Biella, in north west Italy, are pondering whether to charge a man who tried to get his vaccine injected into a false arm.

They said the man, in his fifties, wanted to get a Covid vaccination certificate without actually having the jab and arrived for his shot with a silicone mould covering his real arm. A nurse alerted authorities when she prepared to inject the false limb but found it to be “rubbery and cold”.


Two Germans are being held in Bogotá after allegedly attempting to smuggle 232 small tarantulas out of the Colombian capital in their luggage.

Authorities said the pair’s suitcases also contained spider eggs, a scorpion with seven babies, and 67 cockroaches, and that the men claimed they wanted to take them to Germany “for academic purposes”.


Criminals who forced a Paris luxury goods dealer to open his safe and give them watches worth 100,000 euros (£85,100) missed the one on his wrist, a rare Richard Mille worth at least 500,000 euros (£425,800).

The 26-year-old man had just returned from an evening at the Ballon d’Or ceremony, at which Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi was controversially given the top award, when he was held up at gunpoint by two hooded men. They also took the keys to his Lamborghini but did not steal the car, presumably because they did not ask where it was parked.


Six customers and 25 employees stayed the night at a branch of Ikea in Aalborg, northern Denmark after a 30-centimetre snowfall.

Manager Peter Elmose said it was “a good night” where customers “slept in the furniture showroom on the first floor, where we have beds, mattresses and sofa beds. They could choose exactly the bed they always wanted to try”.


Some 200 starlings fell “like rain” dead from the sky near a hospital in Ferrol, north west Spain.

Local councillor Mapi Rodríguez said several passers-by were hit by the birds, but no one was seriously injured. “They came out of the trees by the emergency room, flew a few metres and then fell. We are now waiting for test results to see what happened, but we have been told it won’t be easy,” he added.


A gynaecologist nicknamed “Doctor Magic Flute” has been arrested in Bari, Italy, after claims that he convinced several patients to have sex with him, promising it would cure them of illnesses including cancer.

Dr Giovanni Miniello, 60, had already resigned after being caught shirtless in a hotel room with an actress posing as a patient during a ‘sting’ operation by TV show Le lene.

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