Airline and five men face Concorde trial

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The Independent Online

Continental Airlines and five men went on trial yesterday for their alleged role in the crash of the Air France Concorde that killed 113 people in 2000.

The Concorde caught fire as it roared out of Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport on 25 July 2000 and crashed into a hotel. Investigators believe a Continental DC10 triggered the disaster when a small metal strip fell from it on to the runway. This punctured the Concorde's tyres during take-off. The US airline has always denied responsibility.

Continental and the five individuals are charged with involuntary manslaughter. If found guilty, Continental faces a €375,000 (£330,000) fine and possibly substantial damages; the men risk five years' imprisonment and a €75,000 fine. The judge started proceedings by reading out the names of the 109 people who died in the inferno.

The trial is expected to run until 28 May.