Continental Deny of Responsibility in Concorde Crash

Despite an official French
report declaring that a metal strip that fell off a Continental DC-10, and
a fuel tank design flaw on the Concorde, were directly responsible for the
crash of the Concorde in Paris on July 25, 2000, Continental Airlines has
issued a statement denying any responsibility for the crash. Terry O’Reilly of the San Mateo, California, law firm of O’Reilly Collins
& Danko, who represents the families of the crews of the Concorde, has
issued the following statement:

“It is disgusting and inexcusable that Continental Airlines still refuses
to take any responsibility for the Concorde disaster. The crash of the
Concorde on July 25, 2000, shortly after leaving Charles de Gaulle
Airport, was the only fatal accident in the 40-year history of the
Concorde. An aircraft on the cutting edge of technology was essentially
brought down by the crudest kind of technological failure—lazy
mechanics who used hammers and screws to force the wrong part into a place
it could not fit on the Continental DC-10. The part that was used was
several inches too long and was repeatedly drilled by Continental
employees to make it fit.

“In addition, the strip was made of the wrong metal. Had it been made of
stainless steel, as required by the blueprints for the plane, the Concorde
would have run over the strip without incident. Instead, the part was made
of a much harder titanium alloy which formed a knife edge that ripped the
Concorde tire apart. Flying fragments of the burst tire punctured the
Concorde’s fuel tanks resulting in the fire and explosion that killed 109
passengers and crew members and four people in a hotel on the ground. The
stupidity of the actions of the mechanics sinks to the level of criminal
negligence. It is not surprising that French courts are proposing

“One can hardly imagine the horror of the crew, unable to see the gaping
hole in the fuel tank that was feeding fuel into the afterburners, as they
realized that a catastrophic accident was imminent which they were
powerless to prevent. Continental’s complete failure to assume any
responsibility for what happened is a good illustration of the reasons why
ordinary passengers need to be able to file lawsuits against the powerful
and irresponsible.”