17 January 2002

Concorde airline is criticised

By Harry de Quetteville in Paris

The final report into the Concorde crash in Paris, which killed 113 people, has criticised Air France for maintenance failures.

The report confirmed that the aircraft suffered a fire when a fragment from one of its tyres burst a fuel tank. The tyre is believed to have been cut by a metal strip that had fallen off another aircraft.

But it also said Air France had neglected other maintenance procedures that were not to blame for the crash, but were "very serious".

They included using out-of-date information in the first phase of preparing flights, and lax baggage handling.

Air France said it had taken "appropriate corrective action".