An Italian Air Force Frecce Tricolore acrobatic team pilot ejected less than a second before a deadly crash on takeoff from the Turin-Caselle Airport in northwest Italy.
Video posted to YouTube shows one of the team's Aermacchi MB-339PAN jets break from its five-ship formation while struggling to gain altitude. The pilot ejected just before impact. The flaming wreckage careened out of the airport perimeter and struck a car, killing a 5-year-old girl and sending her three surviving family members to the hospital with burns, per a report from Italy's ANSA news agency.
ANSA reported the plane had an engine problem during takeoff before the crash. Frecce Tricolore were reportedly en route to perform at the Vercelli Airshow on Saturday.
The Turin prosecutor's office has begun an investigation into the crash, ANSA reported. The Frecce Tricolore have flown the MB-339PAN since 1982 and were previously equipped with the Fiat G.91 PAN.
Three members of the team and 67 spectators were killed in the Ramstein airshow disaster following a low-altitude mid-air collision in 1988.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.
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