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On plane crash anniversary, mayor says France must improve air safety

By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
Smoke rises from the site of a Concorde jet crash near Paris on July 25, 2000.
Smoke rises from the site of a Concorde jet crash near Paris on July 25, 2000.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mayor says air safety remains a concern for his government
  • The town of Gonesse is holding a memorial for crash victims
  • A verdict is expected in a manslaughter case related to the crash in December

(CNN) -- Ten years after 113 people died when a Concorde jet crashed into a hotel outside Paris, local officials say the country's government has not done enough to protect people living near the airport.

"Seventy-five percent of air accidents have happened in taking off or landing in densely populated areas," Gonesse Mayor Jean-Pierre Blazy said in a statement.

The town of Gonesse, located north of Paris, was scheduled to hold a memorial service Sunday to honor the 113 victims who died when the Concorde jet crashed there on July 25, 2000.

A court is expected to rule in a manslaughter case related to the crash in December, a statement from Gonesse's government said.

Video: Concorde crash anniversary
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"Despite 10 years of investigation and four months of trial, all the responsibility does not seem to have been established," the statement said.

French investigators said a small titanium strip that was loose caused the crash. It had fallen from a Continental Airlines plane on the runway minutes earlier.

The crash, coupled with rising costs and a slump in demand, eventually led to Concorde's retirement in 2003.