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Monday, December 6, 2010

Concorde crash 2000

Continental 'responsible' for Concorde crash in 2000

Concorde crash 2000
Concorde crash 2000 News Updates! A Paris court has said Continental Airlines was "criminally responsible" for the crash of a Concorde supersonic jet 10 years ago, and fined it 200,000 euros (£170,000).

It has also been ordered to pay 1m euros to the jet's operator Air France.

A Continental mechanic, John Taylor, was given a 15-month suspended prison sentence over the crash.

Continental has said it will appeal the verdict, saying it "only protects French interests".

Another airline operative and three French officials were cleared.

The Concorde caught fire shortly after take-off from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris in July 2000, killing 113 people.

The court ruled that the crash was caused by a piece of metal left on the runway after falling from a Continental jet. Investigators said this caused a tyre-burst in the jet, which in turn ruptured a fuel tank.

Continental had disputed this interpretation, saying the airliner, operated by Air France, was already in flames before it hit the small piece of titanium.

The judge in the case confirmed investigators' finding that titanium debris dropped by a Continental DC-10 onto the runway at Charles de Gaulle airport before the Concorde took off was to blame.

John Taylor should not have used titanium parts to make repairs on the DC-10 because it was known to be too dangerous to aeroplane tyres, and he should have used aluminium instead, a softer metal, the court found.

The trial was supposed to conclude the protracted debates over responsibility for the crash.

Following Monday's verdict, Air France, which paid out 100 million euros in compensation to victims' families, may decide to seek to reclaim some of that money from the US company.

1. 1643 local time: Smoke seen as Air France Concorde 4590 takes off
2. Control tower tells pilot large flames coming from tail end
3. A mile from airport, pilot tries to gain altitude
4. Three miles from airport, Concorde starts to roll and fall
5. 1644 local time: Concorde crashes killing 109 on board and four on ground

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