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German Plane Crash

Germanwings Crash: Plane Went Down in 1953 in Same Part of Alps

The German jetliner that crashed on Tuesday went down in the same part of the French Alps where a plane slammed into a mountain 62 years ago.

On Sept. 1, 1953, an Air France plane was coming in for a landing at Nice when it crashed into 10,000-foot-tall Mont Cimet, near the village of Barcelonette. All 33 passengers and all nine members of the crew were killed. The dead included Jacques Thibaud, a celebrated violinist.

The plane burned for more than three hours after the crash, according to news reports at the time.

The flight, aboard a Lockheed L-749A Constellation, was part of Air France service from Paris to what was then called Saigon, with stops in Nice, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan and India.

LE NOUVEL AVION POUR LA LIGNE PARIS-SAIGON EN 1950
A Lockheed Constellation plane begins service on the Air France Paris-Saigon line in 1950. A Lockheed Constellation on the Paris-Saigon line crashed in 1953 into Mont Cimet, near the village of Barcelonette in the French Alps. Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

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— Erin McClam and Polly DeFrank