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Court overturns Continental crash ruling

Nov. 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM
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VERSAILLES, France, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A French appeals court overturned a ruling that found Continental Airlines guilty of manslaughter in a 2000 Concorde jet crash that killed 113 people.

The French court initially blamed Continental for the crash. It said a piece of metal fell off one of Continental's DC-10 jetliners on a runway at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris that the Concorde supersonic jet ran over the debris, causing a puncture in a tire.

Rubber from the tire damaged a fuel tank causing the plane to catch fire shortly after takeoff.

The Los Angeles Times said Thursday Continental has maintained the court's finding is "absurd" and meant to protect Air France which operated the Concorde jointly with British Airways, from liability.

In 2010, Continental was ordered to pay $2.6 million in damages and fines relating to the crash that saw the stricken plane slam into a hotel outside Paris, killing all 109 passengers and crew and four people on the ground.

Air France and British Airways stopped operating Concorde flights in 2003.

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