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Continental employees face trial for their role in the Concorde crash

France’s public prosecutor has called Continental Airlines and five individuals, including two of the carrier’s staff, to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter following the fatal Air France Concorde crash in Paris in July 2000.

The Concorde accident inquiry found the cause of the crash – which occurred almost immediately after take-off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport – was a main-gear tyre explosion which culminated in a fuel tank fire, caused in part by a design inadequacy. The tyre was cut by a metal strip which detached from a Continental McDonnell Douglas DC-10.


In addition to the Continental Airlines staff, the judge overseeing the case has called on two employees of Concorde manufacturer Aerospatiale and a representative of France’s CAA (DGAC) to stand trial in Pontoise, France.

Detailing the charges, the judge is taking action against the Continental Airlines staff member who installed the metal strip and the head of services who signed off the work. The airline itself faces allegations of failings in its DC-10 maintenance processes.

Continental in a statement says the “indictments are outrageous and completely unjustified”. The carrier says it remains firmly convinced that “neither it nor its employees were the cause of the Concorde tragedy and we will defend ourselves vigorously against these charges”.

The two Aerospatiale employees and the DGAC official are being pursued for underestimating the impact of previous incidents, along with fire and engine failure risks.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

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