By John Ensor • 18 September 2023 • 9:53
Stock image of Frecce Tricolori.
A major incident at an Italian air show, which led to the death of a young girl, is believed to be the result of a bird strike.
On Saturday, September 16 in Turin, a devastating accident occurred when a Frecce Tricolori (the Italian Air Force display team) plane crashed shortly after departing from Caselle airport. Tragically, five-year-old Laura Origliasso lost her life due to the ensuing fire, writes La Repubblica.
Footage of the incident showed the plane’s pilot ejecting from the MB.339 aircraft using a parachute. Miraculously, he survived, though he’s currently receiving treatment for burns at Giovanni Bosco Hospital.
A family travelling in a car near Turin airport faced the brunt of the disaster. Debris from the plane struck their vehicle, causing severe injuries. Laura succumbed to her injuries at the scene, while her 12-year-old brother is critically injured at Regina Margherita Children’s Hospital. Both parents sustained injuries, with one being treated at Cto and the other at Giovanni Bosco.
The plane was en route for a low-altitude flyover in Vercelli, marking the Italian Air Force’s 100th anniversary in Collegno, close to Turin. The event was subsequently cancelled.
An official statement was released offering condolences to the family: ‘The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Air Squadron General Luca Goretti, on behalf of the entire Air Force, dismayed and astonished by what happened this afternoon at Turin Caselle airport, joins the family of the little girl who remained victim of the plane crash involving a Frecce Tricolori aircraft.
‘We await with hope and confidence updates on the conditions of the second child and the parents. 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 pilot, immediately before impact, managed to perform the ejection manoeuvre. It is not possible to confirm the causes of the accident at the moment.’
The statement went on to give a theory as the causes of the aircraft failure: ‘One of the hypotheses being examined, given the dynamics of the event, is that of an impact of the aircraft with a bird (Bird strike in technical jargon) during the very first phases of take-off.
‘The fire that developed following the impact of the aircraft on the ground unfortunately involved a car in transit on the airport perimeter with four people on board, causing the death of a little girl and the injury of the other three occupants of the vehicle.’
In a separate incident in Turin, another plane veered off the runway at the Aero Club, flipping over. Fortunately, no injuries were reported there.
The Italian air show disaster has elicited responses from political figures. Defence Minister Guido Crosetto expressed his shock, while Chamber of Deputies President, Lorenzo Fontana, conveyed his profound grief. Transport Minister Matteo Salvini described the event as an ‘appalling tragedy’. Additionally, Piedmont’s president, Alberto Cirio, and Turin’s mayor, Stefano Lo Russo, visited the crash site.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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