Continental appeals ruling in Concorde crash

Posted Dec. 13, 2010 at 9:58 a.m.

AFP | Continental Airlines on Monday lodged an appeal against a conviction by a French court, which found it criminally responsible for the 2000 Concorde air disaster in which 113 people were killed.

Olivier Metzner, lawyer for the U.S. airline, said he had lodged the papers with the appellate court in Versailles, west of Paris.

A court on Dec. 6 found the U.S. airline criminally responsible for the Paris crash. It said it was caused by a strip of titanium that fell from a Continental DC-10 and later shredded the supersonic jet’s tire, which led to a fire in the fuel tank.

Continental was ordered to pay a fine of EUR200,000 for the crash and to pay the Concorde’s operator Air France EUR1 million in damages. The U.S. airline said the ruling was “absurd.”

The judge also gave Continental employee John Taylor a 15-month suspended jail sentence for having incorrectly manufactured and installed the titanium strip.

Flight 4590 to New York smashed into a hotel in a ball of fire just after take off from Charles de Gaulle airport July 25, 2000, killing 100 mostly German passengers and nine crew on board and four people on the ground.

The U.S. airline issued a statement after the ruling, saying it was aimed at deflecting responsibility from Air France.

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