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Concorde crash court case begins

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 4, 2010

A criminal trial over the deaths of 113 people onboard an Air France Concorde which crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris-Charles De Gaulle airport on July 25 2000 started on February 2 in the town of Pontoise, near Paris.

The crash occurred after a titanium strip from a Continental DC-10 departing CDG fell onto the runway shortly before the Concorde took off. Upon commencing its takeoff roll, the strip punctured one of its wheels, causing it to rupture one of the aircraft’s fuel tanks. The aircraft subsequently rotated in a mass of flames before crashing into a nearby hotel.

Continental Airlines and five men are standing trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter from the accident. The five men include two Americans who welded the piece of titanium on the DC-10 and three elderly French aviation engineers involved in the design and certification of the Concorde, who have been faulted for failing to spot and rectify the design flaws in the aircraft’s fuel tanks.

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The trial is expected to run to late May.

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