By Claire West

A 17 inch (43.2cm) strip of titanium left on the French runway by a Continental Airlines DC-10 was responsible for rupturing the tyre of the ill fated concorde. Debris thrown up by the ruptured tyre punctured the craft's fuel tank, resulting in the crash that cost the lives of 113 passengers.

Yahoo! News stated that 'Continental's defense lawyer, Olivier Metzner, confirmed the carrier would appeal. He denounced a ruling that he called "patriotic" for sparing the French defendants and convicting only the Americans.

"This is a ruling that protects only the interests of France. This has strayed far from the truth of law and justice," he said. "This has privileged purely national interests.'

A Parisian court found the airline to be "criminally responsible" for the crash of the Concorde supersonic jet 10 years ago, fining it 200,000 euros (£170,000).

It has also been ordered to pay 1m euros to the jet's operator Air France, according to the BBC.