Squashed hedgehog costs France EUR 3m

2nd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, Feb 1 (AFP) - A dead hedgehog which was at the origin of an airport mishap involving an Air France passenger plane nearly seven years ago has ended up costing the French government more than EUR 3 million (USD 4 million) in a court ruling Tuesday.

MARSEILLE, France, Feb 1 (AFP) - A dead hedgehog which was at the origin of an airport mishap involving an Air France passenger plane nearly seven years ago has ended up costing the French government more than EUR 3 million (USD 4 million) in a court ruling Tuesday.

On March 22, 1998, the hedgehog's carcass was lying at the end of a runway at the airport in the southern town of Marseille, attracting around 20 seagulls which were picking at it, oblivious to the Air France Airbus A320 roaring down on them ahead of take off.

The plane's right engine sucked in the flock of hapless birds, destroying it and forcing the pilot to abort the take-off at the very last moment.

In its judgement, the court in Marseille ruled that the French government was responsible for keeping the runways clear of such perils and that its staff at the airport should have noticed "such a large group of birds" in the path of the jet.

It ordered the government to pay EUR 850,000 to Air France over the incident, and EUR 2.3 million to five insurance companies that had paid out after the accident.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article