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Monday, 23 October, 2000, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
New clue to Concorde crash
Air France Concorde, on fire during take-off
All 109 passengers died in the crash
A "poorly executed" repair to an American passenger jet may have caused the Concorde crash.

The theory centres on the metal strip which is thought to have led to the crash.

The torn Concorde tyre and the metal strip
The metal strip is thought to have punctured the Concorde tyre
According to Flight International magazine, the strip - which fell onto the runway and into Concorde's path from another jet - was made of titanium, not a soft alloy as the original part would have been.

The information is crucial to the investigators who believe the strip punctured one of Concorde's tyres, hurling chunks of rubber into its fuel tank and sparking a catastrophic blaze.

But the magazine added that just who installed the metal strip - which had been fitted to a thrust reverser on the Continental jet - remained a mystery.

Concordes grounded

The Air France Concorde crashed with the loss of all 109 people on board and four on the ground soon after take-off in July at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

Continental Airlines which has already said that the strip came from one of its aircraft, declined to comment on the Flight International report.

Concorde
Britain and France grounded their Concorde fleet
But Flight International said lawyers representing relatives of the 96 German passengers killed in the crash were pressing Continental to give details about the DC-10's repair history.

All British Airways and Air France Concordes have been grounded since August as the investigation into the crash continues.

BA is working to get Concorde back in the air by February 2001 and is pushing the aircraft's two manufacturers BAE Systems and European Aeronautic Space and Defence Co to have modifications in place by the end of the year, according to a report in the Financial Times on Monday.

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10 Aug 00 | Europe
Metal strip 'burst' Concorde tyre
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