Sat, 23 Sep 2023

Turin [Italy], September 17 (ANI): A five-year-old child was killed, and her nine-year-old brother injured with severe burns after their car was struck with burning debris from a huge fireball after a jet from the Italian Air Force's aerobatics squadron crashed during a practice run near the northern city of Turin on Saturday, CNN reported.

The MB-339 jet exploded moments after take-off at around noon local time, officials said, according to the Italian Fire Brigade.

The jet's pilot survived and could be seen ejecting with his parachute just before the jet struck the ground, the fire brigade said.

He is currently being treated for burns at Giovanni Bosco Hospital in Turin, officials added.

The Frecce Tricolori aerobatic jets, part of the Italian Air Force, were practising a formation ahead of the 100-year celebrations of the Italian Air Force that are set to take place on Sunday. The planes had just taken off from Turin's Caselle airport when one of the jets started to lose altitude, as seen on multiple videos that were shared on social media, as per CNN.

The crash happened inside the airport perimeter. Following the incident, the airport was closed temporarily.

Italian media reported that the jets hit a flock of birds just after takeoff, according to CNN affiliate Sky24. The car that held the 5-year-old child and her family had been driving along a country road parallel to the airport, according to local media reports.

Her brother survived and is now being treated for severe burns at the Regina Margherita Children's Hospital in Turin, the hospital confirmed. Their parents have also reportedly suffered burns.

The Italian Air Force said it was"dismayed and astonished" by the jet's crash, according to a statement made by the Italian Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Air Squadron General Luca Goretti, as per CNN.

The Pony 4 aircraft, piloted by Major Oscar Del Do', had lost altitude and crashed to the ground shortly after the formation had taken off, the statement said.

The Italian Air Force has not confirmed the exact cause of the accident but has hypothesized that there was a bird strike during the very first phases of takeoff. (ANI)

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