French Investigators Issue Preliminary Report on Concorde Crash

September 1, 2000

A preliminary report, issued by the Bureau Enquete Accidents (BEA) of the French Ministry of Transport, which is investigating the crash of an Air France Concorde on takeoff from Charles de Gaulle airport on July 25th, confirmed most of the previously discovered facts concerning the crash, but said that all the links in the data which led to the crash couldn’t yet be established.

The BEA report, however, validated the theory that a ruptured fuel tank led to a fire in the engines on the aircraft’s left side, causing them to shut down, and making the plane uncontrollable. Although the pilot tried to make an emergency landing at Le Bourget Airport, it crashed soon after the fire erupted, killing all 109 persons on board.

It also confirmed that a 40 cm ( approx. 16 inch) strip of metal, probably from another plane, had been found on the runway, and that a tire had burst, but investigators said that they couldn’t as yet establish direct links between The tire explosion, the object and the fuel tank rupture.

The BEA will continue its investigation, and for the time being the supersonic Concordes of Air France and British Airways remain grounded.

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