Club Med faces air-crash inquiry

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The Independent Online
Gilbert Trigano, founder and former chairman of Club Mediterrane, and his son, Serge, the current chairman, have been placed under judicial investigation in connection with a fatal air crash in Senegal in 1992. The case, opened by the judge conducting the inquiry, cites "involuntary homicide and causing injuries".

The investigation is poor publicity for Club Med at a time when it is trying to revamp its image. It is also a fighting a race-discrimination case in the United States.

Thirty people died and 26 were injured in the accident. An association formed by victims and relatives said that the aircraft, chartered from Air Senegal to transfer guests from one Club Med site to another, was not airworthy and has accused Club Med of disregarding elementary safety regulations.

In February they sent an open letter to MPs and French officials calling for those responsible to be brought to book. According to l'Express magazine, they said complaints from Club Med guests about the age and dilapidation of the aircraft were ignored. They also said the pilot, who died in the crash, had "reached the age-limit for flying commercial planes, was deaf, short-sighted and had been banned from flying in the United States after two previous accidents".

A person placed under judicial investigation must face questions from a judge but it does not automatically mean that charges will be brought.