Continental rejects blame for Concorde crash

15th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (AFP) - Continental Airlines categorically denied any responsibility for a deadly Concorde crash outside Paris in 2000 on Tuesday, and said it would fight any ensuing criminal charges.

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (AFP) - Continental Airlines categorically denied any responsibility for a deadly Concorde crash outside Paris in 2000 on Tuesday, and said it would fight any ensuing criminal charges.

"We strongly disagree that anything Continental did was the cause of the Concorde accident and we are outraged that media reports have said criminal charges may be made against our company and its employees," said Continental spokesman Rahsaan Johnson in a statement.

"We are confident that there is no basis for a criminal action and we will defend any charges in the appropriate courts."

All 109 people aboard the Air France Concorde, plus four people on the ground, died when the plane plummeted into a hotel near Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport four years ago shortly after takeoff.

In a long-awaited report published earlier, French investigators laid part of the blame for the crash at the door of Houston, Texas-based Continental, exposing the carrier to possible criminal charges and compensation claims.

Investigators concluded that a titanium metal shard that came off a Continental DC-10 jet that used the runway just before the Concorde, shredded one of the Concorde's tyres.

Rubber fragments from the tyre then punctured a wing fuel tank, the report said.

While the report also criticised a flaw in the design of the wing tank, it noted that the titanium strip should have been made of aluminium - a softer alloy that would not have cut the Concorde's tyres.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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