The Frecce Tricolori plane reportedly collided with the car after the pilot ejected (Picture: Reuters)
The Italian air force is investigating whether a plane used by their equivalent of the Red Arrows aerobatic team hit birds before it crashed yesterday afternoon.
A five-year-old girl who was travelling in a car with her family was killed when the aircraft smashed into the ground and through a fence at Turin Airport.
Her mother and older brother remain in hospital with burns, while the father was released earlier today.
The pilot, identified as Major Oscar Del Dó, ejected from the plane with a parachute shortly before impact. He also suffered burns.
The Frecce Tricolori squadron had been flying at the airport in preparation for the Vercelli Airshow, which was taking place this weekend at the namesake town which lies halfway between Turin and Milan.
A video of the crash shows nine aircraft belonging to the team in two tight V-shaped formations, before one abruptly drops out.
It soon hits the ground, creating an enormous fireball as it skids along and reportedly colliding with the car as it travelled along a nearby road.
Turin Airport will remain closed until Monday due to the incident. A message posted on its website urges people concerned about their flights to check for updates with their airline or travel agency.
Turin Airport in northern Italy has been closed since the incident (Picture: Matteo Secci/LaPresse/Shutterstock)
An unidentified man cries at the scene of the crash, which killed a five-year-old (Picture: AP)
The air force said the reason for the crash was still being investigated, but one line of inquiry is the possibility a bird was hit by the plane during takeoff.
Italian prosecutors are also investigating the incident.
It is the first civilian fatality in a crash involving the Frecce Tricoli for 35 years, since the Ramstein air show disaster in August 1988.
In that incident, three aircraft collided during an aerobatic display and crashed to the ground, killing 67 spectators and all three pilots in one of the deadliest air show accidents in history.
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