Continental Airlines And Mechanic Guilty In Deadly Concorde Crash

The fiery crash that brought down a Concorde supersonic jet in 2000, killing 113 people, was caused partially by the criminal negligence of Continental Airlines and a mechanic who works for the company, a French court ruled Monday.

Continental Airlines was fined 202,000 euros ($268,400) and ordered to pay 1 million euros to Air France, which operated the doomed flight.

Mechanic John Taylor received a fine of 2,000 euros ($2,656) and a 15-month suspended prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter.

The aircraft manufacturer EADS was also found partly responsible for the crash and ordered to pay 30% of damages to victims involved in the case.

Air France has already paid an unspecified sum in damages to the families of most of the victims of the only crash ever of a Concorde.The mechanic was the only person found guilty in the trial before a judicial panel in the Paris suburb of Pontoise. He was not present for the verdict.

His former supervisor, Stanley Ford, and three French officials were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Henri Perrier, Jacques Herubel and Claude Frantzen were responsible for the design, testing and certification of the Concorde.

The charges had said the engineers could have acted much earlier to correct well-known design flaws in the plane. "