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article imageCourt finds Continental responsible for Concorde air disaster

By Michael Cosgrove     Dec 6, 2010 in Travel
Continental Airlines has been fined €200,000 and €1m in damages for its alleged responsibility for the Concorde disaster in which all 109 passengers and crew along with four people on the ground died when the plane crashed near Paris on July 25 2000.
The decision comes after 10 years of investigations and a trial at the Correctional Tribunal in Pontoise France. Continental was also ordered to pay €1m in damages to Air France, the company operating the plane involved. Air France was cleared of any wrongdoing.
A Continental mechanic, John Taylor, was given a 15-month suspended prison sentence over the crash.
Continental's lawyers say they will appeal the decision, saying that it "only protects French interests."
Air France Flight 4590 took off on July 25 2000 from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris bound for John F. Kennedy airport in New York. The plane was on fire before it left the runway and the flight lasted just under two minutes before the plane banked and rolled over before crashing onto a hotel in Gonesse, near Paris. All 109 passengers and crew were killed, as were four people on the ground. The majority of the dead were German tourists.
Prosecutors said the crash was caused by a strip of metal which had fallen onto the runway from a Continental plane following bad maintenance and Continental has always claimed that the plane was on fire before it reached the strip.
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