Dramatic video footage shows pilot ejecting seconds before plane crash.
A five-year-old girl was killed after one of Italy's Frecce Tricolori aerobatic jets crashed near the northern city of Turin on Saturday afternoon, Italian media reports.
The girl's parents and her nine-year-old brother were taken to hospital with burns, reports news agency ANSA, and the pilot of the aircraft survived after ejecting with a parachute seconds before impact.
The tragedy occurred after take-off at Turin's Caselle airport and the plane, which had been flying in formation, crashed near the town of San Francesco al Campo, about 20 km northwest of Turin.
Terribile incidente a Torino, dove un aereo delle Frecce Tricolori è precipitato durante una esercitazione, uccidendo una bimba di 5 anni e, secondo le prime notizie, ferendo il suo fratellino e i suoi genitori. Salvo il pilota, che si è lanciato all'ultimo con il paracadute.… pic.twitter.com/AlW6TWqxTo
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) September 16, 2023
According to initial media reports the plane hit a car in which the family was travelling.
An investigation has been opened into the incident which may have been caused by a 'bird strike', sources told ANSA.
The plane had been on its way with others to participate in an air show at Vercelli, about 65 km north-east of Turin, before taking part in an event on Sunday to celebrate the centenary of Italy's air force. The event has been cancelled.
Italy's deputy premier and transport minister Matteo Salvini posted dramatic video footage of the incident which he described as "a frightening tragedy".
EVENTS THIS WEEKview calendar