- An aircraft from the Frecce Tricolori crashed during practice, killing a 5-year-old girl.
- A video of the accident shows the plane exploding into flames and the pilot parachuting away from the blast.
- The Frecce Tricolori were practicing for a demonstration on Sunday for the Italian Air Force’s anniversary.
An aircraft belonging to the Italian Air Force crashed during a practice session in Turin, Italy, on Saturday, killing a 5-year-old girl, reported the local news agency ANSA.
The plane was part of the Italian acrobatic demonstration team Frecce Tricolori, according to ANSA. The pilot of the plane was burned but survived, per the report.
The crash also injured the girl’s parents and 9-year-old sibling, Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. She identified the girl as Laura Origliasso in the post.
“I am shocked by what happened today in the Caselle flying club in Turin during an exercise by the Frecce Tricolori,” Meloni wrote in Italian.
A video of the crash posted on X by Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini showed several military aircraft flying in formation, before one plane began to nosedive. The plane was later shown crashing and exploding into a ball of fire. The pilot was shown being ejected into the air before descending from the in a parachute, as black smoke filled the air.
“The formation had just taken off to head towards Vercelli, where it was supposed to perform an aerial display, when for reasons yet to be ascertained the Pony 4 aircraft piloted by Major Oscar Del Do’ lost altitude and crashed to the ground,” the Italian Air Force said in a statement in Italian.
The plane crashed on the runway of Turin’s Caselle airport, where it hit a car, causing the explosion, per the Italian Air Force’ statement. The plane was likely hit by a bird strike during takeoff, it added in the statement. The victims of the crash were later taken to the hospital to be treated.
The Frecce Tricolori were practicing for a demonstration on Sunday, where they would be flying to commemorate the Italian Air Force’s 100th anniversary. The demonstration was later canceled, ANSA reported.
Several accidents involving acrobatic aircraft have occurred in recent years. In July, an acrobatic plane crashed into a forest during an airshow in Finland, killing the pilot. In November, a collision between a fighter plane and a bomber aircraft at an airshow in Dallas, Texas killed six people.
Italy’s Ministry of Defence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.