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Girl, 5, killed after Italian acrobatic plane crashes

A five-year-old girl has died after an aircraft from Italy’s premier acrobatic air team crash landed outside Turin on Saturday.

The girl and her family had been in a car near the perimeter of the airport when the aircraft crashed and hurtled through the airport fence.

The girl’s mother and older brother remained hospitalised for treatment for burns while the father was released on Sunday, hospital officials said.

Video on social media showed the plane flying out of formation as eight other jets passed across the sky.

The aircraft then drops below the others before crashing into the ground, bursting into flames.

The pilot managed to eject and deploy his parachute shortly before the aircraft collided into the ground.

The Air Force said the reason for the crash was under investigation but said one hypothesis was that the aircraft was hit by birds during take off. Italian prosecutors were also investigating.

The Frecce Tricolori squadron, Italy’s premier team of acrobatic pilots, was preparing for an air show scheduled for Sunday as part of events marking the 100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force.

They typically perform dramatic fly-bys at events of national importance, leaving streaks of red, green and white smoke, the colours of the Italian flag.

They perform intricate acrobatics during air shows.

In 1988, three aircraft of the Frecce Tricolori collided and crashed to the ground during an air show at Ramstein Air Base in Germany attended by around 300,000 people. The three pilots and 67 people on the ground died. Hundreds more suffered injuries.