A French judged has ruled that Continental Airlines, along with five individuals, are to stand trial for manslaughter over the Concorde air crash in 2000 in which 113 people were killed.The five individuals are said to be two Continental Airline employees, one official from the French civilian aviation authority and two employees of Aerospatiale, the maker of Concorde.
The jet aircraft bound for New York’s JFK airport caught on fire as it took off from Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.
The crash killed all 109 onboard - mostly German and Dutch tourists - and four people on the ground.
In 2004, French investigators blamed the crash on a strip of metal that fell on to the runway from a Continental Airlines DC-10. This was found to have burst the Concorde’s tyres, which ruptured the plane’s fuel tanks as they broke up.
It is understood that Continental mechanic John Taylor and maintenance chief Stanley Ford. Claude Frantzen, former head of training at the French civil aviation authority, and Henri Perrier, ex-chief of the Concorde program, are facing the charges.
The crash led to the aircraft being pulled out of service temporarily and it was officially retired in 2003.