Continental Airlines Begins Appeal in Concorde Jet Crash

Posted March 8th, 2012 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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Officials from U.S.-based Continental Airlines are in a French court to appeal a manslaughter conviction for the deadly crash of a Concorde supersonic jet in 2000.

The trial, which began Thursday outside of Versailles, will re-examine evidence of the crash, as well as take into account the safety record of the plane.

In 2010, a court ruled that Continental and one of its mechanics were responsible for the crash, which was caused when a strip of titanium from one of the company's planes fell onto a runway used by the ill-fated Concorde jet.

The Air France jet rolled over the metal during take-off, puncturing one of its tires, which subsequently led to a hole in a fuel tank that caught fire.

The Concorde then crashed into a Paris area hotel, killing 113 people.

Continental Airlines disputes that the accident was caused by the metal shard, saying the Concorde jet was already on fire by the time it reached the shard on the runway.

The French court fined Continental $263,000 and ordered it to pay Air France $1.3 million in compensation.