Concorde Crash Ruling Welcomed By Aviation Law Expert

Continental 'Responsible' For Paris Incident


An aviation law specialist at Irwin Mitchell has welcomed the Court ruling finding that Continental Airlines was “responsible” for the Concorde plane crash in Paris a decade ago, despite concerns about delay and the low level of the fine imposed.

The company has been fined €200.000 (£170,000) by a court in the French capital over the incident, which saw 113 people died when the plane caught fire after take-off from Charles de Gaulle Airport.

According to the court, Continental should be held responsible as evidence suggested that the crash was caused by a piece of metal left on the runway which had fallen from one of the airline’s DC10 planes.

The titanium strip punctured the Concorde’s tyres, which in turn led to debris hitting a fuel tank and starting a fire.

Clive Garner, head of the Aviation Law team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “While damages claims made by the families of those tragically killed in the crash were resolved several years ago, it is still welcome news that the courts in France have finally decided who was responsible for the terrible incident.

“It is, however, very disappointing that it has taken ten years for this decision to be made and I hope that this will lead to some closure for the relatives of those who sadly lost their lives in this terrible incident.

“By any measure, the amount of the fine is very low but it is likely that Air France which operated the Concorde and its insurers who paid out compensation to the families of the victims will now seek to reclaim from Continental the sums that they have already paid out.”