Continental Airlines Found Guilty of Involuntary Homicide for Role in Concorde Crash
December 6, 2010
Paris, France (ChattahBox World News)—A French judge ordered Continental Airlines to pay a fine of $265,000 after the court found Continental guilty of involuntary homicide in the case of a 2000 Air France Concorde crash that left 113 people dead, the New York Times reports. A Continental mechanic was also found guilty of the criminal charges, and was fined $2,650 and given a suspended 15-month prison sentence for the accident.
French investigators determined in 2002 that the crash was caused after a small strip of metal fell off of a Continental plane that took off just before the Concorde, and that the Concorde’s tire struck the metal, causing pieces of the tire to catapult elsewhere, including into the Concorde’s fuel tanks. A fire ensued, and all 109 passengers and crew members on the Concorde died, as did four people on the ground, the Times reports. Continental argued that it had over 20 witnesses who said the plane was on fire before it hit the metal strip.
The ruling could open the door for Air France’s insurers to sue Continental, because Air France paid out a $150 million settlement to crash victims in 2001. The new ruling awarded Air France $1.3 million and indicated that the French airline was not guilty of wrongdoing in the crash, the Times notes.