Joachim Bertrand  /  Securite Civile via AFP - Getty Images file
Investigators blamed a titanium strip left on the runway by a Continental Airlines DC-10 for the Air France Concorde crash.
updated 3/12/2008 2:37:54 PM ET 2008-03-12T18:37:54

French prosecutors have asked a judge to put Continental Airlines and four people on trial for manslaughter in connection with the 2000 crash of a Concorde jet that killed 113 people, officials said Wednesday.

The prosecutor's office in the Paris suburb of Pontoise said it submitted the recommendation for trial in late February. The court is not bound to follow the prosecutors' suggestion, and it was unclear Wednesday when the judge would respond to the request.

The Air France Concorde crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport in July 2000, killing all 109 people on board — mostly German tourists — and four on the ground.

French investigators blamed a titanium strip left on the runway by a Continental Airlines DC-10.

The metal strip caused one of the Concorde's tires to burst, which sent debris flying that punctured the jet's fuel tanks. The French judicial inquiry also determined the tanks lacked sufficient protection from shock — and that Concorde's makers had been aware of the weakness since 1979.

The prosecutor recommended trying Continental and two employees who allegedly installed the defective strip, John Taylor and maintenance chief Stanley Ford.

The prosecutor also wants two French officials to go on trial: Claude Frantzen, former head of training at the French civil aviation authority, and Henri Perrier, ex-chief of the Concorde program.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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