Investigators remove engine fragments from Concorde crash site

PARIS - Investigators removed two engines from the Concorde crash site Wednesday in hopes the wreckage of the Air France supersonic jet will help determine the cause of the disaster that killed 113 people.

Some 100 technicians transported the wreckage to a site at Dugny near Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, where it will be examined.

''Every detail and every placement of the pieces is possibly crucial,'' said Xavier Mulot, head of Concorde 95, an investigatory team set up to establish the legal responsibility for the crash.

Forty-four members of the French national police and three judicial experts are participating in the inquiry. They have taken statements from 295 witnesses of the crash, Mulot said.

As part of the inquiry into the July 25 crash, investigators also summoned technical experts from a U.S. tire manufacturer.

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., the world's largest maker of aircraft tires and the only tire supplier for the Air France Concorde fleet, sent two specialists to France on Monday.

''We were asked to supply technical assistance to the investigation,'' company spokesman Chris Aked said Tuesday from Goodyear headquarters in Akron, Ohio. ''We sent two aircraft tire engineers ... and they are now working with the investigation team.''

Aked said he had no information about the cause of the crash or whether a tire malfunction was involved.

There is evidence that one or two of the Concorde's tires exploded and one of the plane's engines shut down, followed by the partial shutdown of another engine.

France's Accident and Inquiry Office has said flames spewing from the side of the aircraft before it crashed most likely came from a major fuel leak.

On Tuesday, French authorities decided to keep its fleet of Concordes grounded while investigators try to recreate the events that caused the crash near Paris.

Air France grounded its remaining five Concordes immediately after the crash. The world's other seven Concordes, owned by British Airways, resumed most flights after a day's pause.


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