In Jan 2002 the BEA (French Accident investigators) delivered their final report on the cause of the accident:


During takeoff from runway 26 right at Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, shortly before rotation, the front right tyre (tyre No 2) of the left landing gear ran over a strip of metal, which had fallen from another aircraft, and was damaged.

Debris was thrown against the wing structure leading to a rupture of tank 5. A major fire, fuelled by the leak, broke out almost immediately under the left wing. Problems appeared shortly afterwards on engine 2 and for a brief period on engine 1. The aircraft took off. The crew shut down engine 2, then only operating at near idle power, following an engine fire alarm.

They noticed that the landing gear would not retract. The aircraft flew for around a minute at a speed of 200 kt and at a radio altitude of 200 feet, but was unable to gain height or speed. Engine 1 then lost thrust, the aircraftªs angle of attack and bank increased sharply. The thrust on engines 3 and 4 fell suddenly. The aircraft crashed onto a hotel.