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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 09:11 GMT
Prosecutor seeks Concorde charges
Concorde on fire in Paris
The Air France Concorde flight crashed shortly after take-off

A French prosecutor has asked judges to bring manslaughter charges against US airline Continental over the crash of an Air France Concorde in 2000.

The prosecutor also recommended similar charges against two Continental employees and two French officials.

One hundred and thirteen people died in the crash outside Paris.

A French inquiry said it was caused by a metal strip from a Continental Airlines plane, which shredded one of the Concorde's tyres as it took off.

The Air France Concorde caught fire and crashed soon after take-off from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.

Inquiries revealed that debris from a Continental DC-10 on the runway had caused the Concorde's tyre to burst.

Fragments from the tyre then punctured the plane's fuel tanks, causing the fire.

Those killed included 109 people on board the supersonic jet and four people on the ground.

Mechanic cited

Bernard Farret, a deputy prosecutor in the city of Pontoise, outside Paris, said he had made the charges request in an effort to bring the airline and four individuals to trial.

Among the four is John Taylor, the Continental mechanic who allegedly fitted the metal strip to the DC-10, and Stanley Ford, a maintenance official from the airline.

Henri Perrier, a former head of the Concorde division at aerospace company EADS, and Claude Frantzen, a former member of France's civil aviation watchdog, were the other two named.

A judge is expected to decide in coming weeks whether to accept the request.



SEE ALSO
US airline faces Concorde inquiry
10 Mar 05 |  Business
US airline 'shares crash blame'
14 Dec 04 |  Europe
Concorde crash kills 113
25 Jul 00 |  Europe

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