An Italian military jet participating in an acrobatic exercise near Turin has crashed, resulting in the death of a five-year-old girl who was in a car on the ground. The pilot of the jet survived ejecting from the aircraft moments before impact. The crash caused a massive fireball near Turin Airport. The girl’s nine-year-old brother was seriously injured, and their parents suffered burns.
Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini expressed his condolences and called the crash a “terrible tragedy.” Video footage shows the aircraft formation gaining altitude before one plane separates and begins to fall from the sky. The pilot is seen parachuting to safety as the plane crashes to the ground, producing thick black smoke.
Initial reports suggest that the aircraft may have collided with a flock of birds, causing one animal to enter the engine, resulting in engine failure. The jet was part of the Frecce Tricolori demonstration team, which had been scheduled to participate in an event commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the Italian air force. This event has now been canceled.
Defence Minister Guido Crosetto expressed his condolences to the family and assured that all necessary resources and assistance would be provided. The pilot’s last-second ejection was confirmed Deputy Prime Minister Salvini, who described the incident as a “frightening tragedy” and offered his prayers and support.
– BBC News