An investigation into the infamous Concorde disaster of 2000 concluded that a burst tyre caused by a metal strip on the runway was the cause of the disaster. Debris from the puncture pierced the under-wing fuel tanks and started the fire that brought the plane down. An similar accident had been identified since 1979, but the investigators had ruled out the speculations that poor maintenance had contributed to the tragedy which killed all 109 people.
On 25 July 2000, as Air France Flight 4590 burst into flames shortly after take-off from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. The flight was chartered by a German cruise-line and all passengers were en route to board a cruise ship in New York City for a 16-day cruise to South America.
A few days after the crash, all Concordes were grounded. Although the Concorde had been the safest working passenger airliner, the high-profile crash spelt the beginning of the end of the aircraft’s career. Increasing fuel prices, 9/11 terrorist attacks and expensive fares led to the Concorde’s permanent retirement in 2003.