French court to deliver final ruling on Concorde crash

VERSAILLES, France: A French court will yesterday deliver a final verdict on who was to blame for the July, 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde that left 113 people dead and led to the supersonic jet being taken out of service.

The ruling, expected after 1200 GMT, follows a three-month appeal hearing earlier this year in which US carrier Continental, now merged with United Airlines, attempted to overturn its conviction for having caused the crash.

Continental was convicted of involuntary homicide in 2010 on the basis of evidence that the crash was caused by a sliver of metal falling from one of its DC10s onto a runway at Paris’s Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

Experts testified that the piece of metal burst the Concorde’s tyre, causing it to damage the fuel tank and, in turn, triggering a leak which caused the explosion which resulted in the plane crashing into a hotel shortly after take-off.

Continental engineer John Taylor was convicted of negligence for having used titanium – an inappropriate metal – to repair the defective metal strip that fell from the DC10. — AFP

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