Continental found guilty in Concorde crash that killed 113

Continental Airlines and one of its engineers were yesterday found guilty of causing the death of 113 people in the Paris Concorde crash.

The company has been fined £170,000 and additionally, has been asked to pay £850,000 compensation to Air France. The airline would also have to pay millions by way of damages after being held ''criminally ­responsible'' for the tragedy.

Concorde employee John Talyor, 42, faces a fine of £1,700 in addition to a 15-month suspended sentence for involuntary manslaughter. However, according to critics, the trial was political as three French defendants were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Finding that a 17-inch metal strip from a Continental DC10 caused the disaster after it punctured the Air France Concorde's tyre sending shards flying into the fuel tank, the judge ruled Continental guilty on account of its poor maintenance.

The plane, which was carrying tourists, caught fire during a take-off from Charles de Gaulle airport in July 2000 killing 113 people.

Air France has had to pay millions in compensation since then and has taken Continental to court in a civil case.