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Monday, 23 July, 2001, 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK
Concorde crash cause confirmed
Concorde test flight
Concorde had a successful test flight last week
A French investigation into last year's Concorde crash has confirmed a burst tyre was the cause of the disaster.

The French Accident Investigation Bureau ruled out speculation that poor maintenance had contributed to the tragedy which killed all 109 people on board and four on the ground.

The plane burst into flames shortly after take-off from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport on 25 July 2000.

British Airways said on Monday it planned to resume Concorde's passenger service in September. Air France hopes to resume its service in October.

The investigators will issue their final report in the coming months.

The interim report, published on Monday, confirmed initial findings that the plane had hit a metal strip on the runway, causing debris to burst under wing fuel tanks and start the fire that brought the plane down.

Safety overhaul

Concorde has been grounded since the crash, but last week it completed a successful supersonic test flight.

The British Airways fleet has undergone a 17m safety overhaul.

The plane's tyres have been reinforced and its fuel tanks covered with a protective liner to prevent a repeat of last year's accident.

After a meeting in London on Monday, an Anglo-French Concorde working group said the plane's manufacturers would apply for permission to fly the aircraft commercially again on 15 August.

The group said everything was being done to complete all the tests needed to ensure Concorde can return to commercial service as quickly as possible.

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See also:

13 May 01 | Europe
Relatives accept Concorde cash
23 Jul 01 | Talking Point
Can Concorde regain its status?
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