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French Court Blames Continental, Worker For Concorde Crash

The metal strip that fell from a Continental DC-10 minutes before the Concorde crash is shown at tri

The metal strip that fell from a Continental DC-10 minutes before the Concorde crash is shown at trial. FRANCOIS MORI/AP hide caption

itoggle caption FRANCOIS MORI/AP

A French court ruled Continental Airlines, Inc. and one of its mechanics are responsible for the shocking crash in Paris that left 113 people dead. The New York Times reports the court says the carrier and mechanic John Taylor were responsible for a strip of metal that fell off a departing Continental plane on the Paris runway; the Air France Concorde hurtled over it a few minutes later.

The Times recaps two conflicting investigations: French officials say the metal shredded the Concorde's tires, firing debris right into the fuel tanks which exploded. Continental Airlines insists investigators ignored 20 eyewitnesses who said the plane caught fire well before the tires rolled over the metal.

The BBC reports the French court has ordered Continental to pay Air France 1 million euros in damages. That's on top of the 200,000 euro fine.

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