Five-year-old girl killed in Red Arrows plane crash

The pilot ejected himself from the plane and used a parachute to save his life.

ROME - Controversy has erupted after a devastating plane crash in Turin left a five-year-old girl dead and the rest of her family in hospital, police reported on Saturday. The small aircraft had just taken off from Turin-Caselle airport around 5pm when it fell and crashed against the family's car in the San Francesco al Campo municipality.

  The plane was en route to Vercelli for the “Freccia Tricolore,” or “tricolor arrow,” a two-day aviation event attended by over 4,000 people, where airplanes display the colors of the Italian flag on the sky. The pilot, Oscar Del Do’, ejected himself and utilised his parachute moments before the catastrophic impact, saving his life.

 The five-year-old girl was killed in the accident. Her 12-year-old brother was left with second degree burns on 15 percent of his body, while the children's mother and father suffered second degree burns on 12 percent and 4 percent of their bodies, respectively. The pilot was taken to the the same hospital as the family.

 The father later recalled the moment of impact, stating, “I heard a big noise…and the car goes off the roadway, overturns and catches fire.”

 The response to the tragedy has largely been condolatory from local politicians, but also critical of the "tricolour arrow" ceremony itself.

 Among the members of the government were the ministers Francesco Lollobrigida, Gilberto Pichetto, and Paolo Zangrillo. The Minister of Defence, Guido Crosetto, stated that he is "stunned". The Mayor of Turin, Stefano Lo Russo, spoke of a "disconcerting tragedy", while the Democratic Party cancelled all the events scheduled for the Festa dell'Unità in the Piedmontese capital as a sign of mourning.

 Maurizio Acerbo, national secretary of PRC, said the Frecce Tricolori is “a waste of money, harmful, miseducational, and unfortunately also dangerous.”