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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-02-08
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Concorde Trial Starts 10 Years after CrashTuesday, 02 February 2010 12:39
Trial of Continental Airlines and five individuals facing charges of involuntary manslaughter starts in the small town of Pontoise , near Paris ten years after the Air France Concorde crash that killed 113 people on July, 25, 2000 The court would also decide whether the report on the causes of the accident drawn by French experts is right.
Investigators and technical experts say the crash was caused by a 43cm strip of titanium that fell from a Continental jet which took off shortly before the Concorde. That piece of metal left on the runway by another aircraft had caused one of Concorde's tires to burst and shred and rubber debris to shoot out and rupture a fuel tank. Leaking kerosene then ignited and caused the catastrophe. Eight minutes later the plane took off in flames and crashed in a nearby town after hitting a hotel. The crash killed 109 people on the plane, 97 German nationals bound for a Caribbean cruise and four on the ground (hotel employees).
U.S. carrier Continental has always denied responsibility for the crash and questioned the safety record of the ageing Concorde. Continental's lawyer said he would present witnesses disputing the version of events presented by investigators.
Air France is not standing trial as victims' families took compensation from Air France after the crash in return for not taking legal action. If found responsible, Continental Airlines faces a 375,000 euro fine, while the five individuals face 5 years imprisonment and a 75,000 euro fine, court officials said. The trial is expected to last until May 28 ands verdict may be announced in autumn.
Source: ÍÅÔ-ÍÅÔ 105.8-ÁNA/ÌPA News item: 32773