Italian air force aircraft crashes during acrobatic exercise
MILAN (AP) — An aircraft of the Italian acrobatic air team the Frecce Tricolori crashed on Saturday during a practice run outside the northern city of Turin, killing a child on the ground, Italian media reported.
The plane, or parts of the plane, reportedly struck a car carrying a family, killing a 5-year-old girl. A 9-year-old and the parents were being treated for burns, according to Italian news agency ANSA. The pilot ejected and also reportedly suffered burns.
Video of the crash shows nine aircraft in two tight V-formations, before one of the aircraft drops below the others and crashes, sending a fireball into the air. In the video, the pilot can be seen ejecting with a parachute shortly before impact inside a fence airfield.
The crash reportedly happened after takeoff from the Turin Caselle airport, near the industrial northern city. There was no immediate word on the pilot’s condition or the reason for the crash.
Photos of the aftermath show the wreckage of the plane in a cornfield, and a burned and wrecked car overturned on the side of a road.
The Frecce Tricolori is Italy’s premier team of acrobatic pilots, part of the Italian air force. They typically perform dramatic flybys at events of national importance, leaving streaks of red, green and white smoke for the colors of the Italian flag. They perform more intricate acrobatics during air shows.
The squad was preparing for a show on Sunday as part of events marking the 100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force.
In 1988, three aircraft of the Frecce Tricolori collided and crashed to the ground during an air show at Ramstein Air Base in Germany attended by around 300,000 people. The three pilots and 67 people on the ground died. Hundreds more suffered injuries.