Air France, Airbus cleared of charges in trial over 2009 Rio-Paris crash
Paris, Apr 17 (EFE).- A Paris court on Monday acquitted Air France and Airbus of charges relating to the deaths of all 228 people onboard a plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris almost 14 years ago.
The companies were both accused of involuntary manslaughter in 2022 after a 13-year investigation into the June 1, 2009 crash, one of the deadliest aviation accidents in the past 20 years.
Presiding judge Sylvie Daunis said the two firms had acted negligently in part but there was no clear causality linking them to the crash.
Speaking to reporters after the verdict was read, the president of an association representing the victims of the crash, Daniele Lamy, said: “We were waiting for an impartial judgement, that has not been the case. We are disgusted.”
“All that remains of these 14 years of waiting is despair, dismay and anger,” she added.
France’s national carrier and the aircraft manufacturer were each facing a potential fine of 225,000 euros ($245,680).
The trial centered around whether the accident was due to pilot error or malfunctioning equipment.
The investigation found that the plane’s speed sensors had broken down during a thunderstorm, and that the pilots had failed to follow the correct protocols before losing control of the aircraft, which crashed into the ocean.
Among the 228 victims of 33 nationalities were a baby and seven children.EFE