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Wednesday, 26 July, 2000, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Europe's press: The Concorde dream dies

The picture that dominates newspapers around the world
Europe's newspapers have a Hungarian plane spotter to thank for the dramatic pictures of Concorde flight AF4590 trailing flames seconds before it crashed outside Paris.

The photograph is splashed across the front pages, accompanied in many cases with the headline 'Doomed'. La Stampa in Italy headlines its coverage 'Concorde, the Titanic of 2000'.

Speculation inevitably surrounds the disaster, with British daily The Independent suggesting the investigation will focus on what appears to have been a catastrophic failure of the two engines on the plane's left wing.

Germany's Die Tageszeitung writes that although there were reports of wing cracks identified by Concorde operating companies, it is very likely that there is no link between them and Tuesday's disaster.

The Daily Telegraph in London reports that the risk of fire and explosion due to an uncontained failure of the planes engines had been first raised in 1976.

The sudden intake of a foreign object such as a bird or debris cannot be ruled out, says another British paper, The Express.

'Dream bird crashes'

"The dream bird crashes to the ground", is the title of an editorial of the Spanish daily El Mundo.

"An air disaster seizes the imagination and grips the heart like no other accident," the paper says.

"All the more so when it is the most graceful, suggestive and fastest commercial plane ever built."

Still in Madrid, ABC says that the crash has "blown the myth of Concorde's safety".

"It appears that the cause of the accident was engine failure," the paper says in an editorial, "but it remains to be determined whether the failure was internal or caused by a foreign object entering an air intake."

La Razon also has an editorial on the crash, titled, "The world's safest plane".

It notes that the crash "marked the end of an unprecedented safety record of 30 years of operational life without a single serious accident... for the plane that became an emblem of the European aerospace industry's success".

Il Giornale in Italy is doubtful about the future of the plane. It headlines a front page article: "End of a myth born to challenge America".

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