PARIS, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- French prosecutors have begun questioning senior officials with the former Concorde aircraft project over a fiery crash in 2000 that killed 113 people.
Henri Perrier, who worked for the firm Aerospatiale, was the first of four executives to be placed under "formal investigation," which is one step short of criminal charges, the BBC said. He was questioned for 11 hours Monday by a judge in Paris as to whether he knew about faults in the aircraft but did nothing to rectify them.
Perrier worked on the Concorde program since the plane's launch in the 1960s, first as chief engineer at the time of the supersonic plane's first test flight in 1969, and later directing the program in the 1980s and early '90s.
The New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed on July 25, 2000, shortly after taking off from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport. With flames streaming from its left wing, it crashed, killing all 109 people on board and four on the ground.
Investigators said a piece of metallic debris on the runway from a Continental Airlines plane punctured a Concorde tire, whose debris punctured a fuel tank.