In France, Continental Airlines and five individuals have gone on trial over the Concorde crash at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on July 25, 2000. The aircraft came down on the nearby town of Gonesse, killing four people on the ground and all 109 passengers and crew on board. It was the only fatal accident the supersonic airliner was ever involved in, but it never recovered, and was retired from service in 2003.
An investigation concluded that one of Concorde’s tyres had burst after it hit a piece of metal left on the runway by a Continental DC-10. Debris from the tyre then ruptured a fuel tank, which made the airliner burst into flames. Continental denies this, and claims that Concorde had caught fire before it hit the metal.
Among the individuals facing manslaughter charges alongside Continental are one of its mechanics and a maintenance official, as well as Concorde’s former chief engineer, a former head of the Concorde division at Aerospatiale and a former member of France’s civil aviation watchdog.
** I’ve been quoted by Newsweek in an article on the Haiti earthquake and its aftermath. The link is http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/wealthofnations/archive/2010/01/25/why-haiti-is-without-parallel.aspx