Italian air force jets collide while on training mission, one body found

Two Italian Air Force jets collided in midair and crashed  in central Italy while on a training mission on Tuesday (Aug 19).

Authorities have since found the body of one of the four airmen missing as a result of the crash. 

The charred body of a man was reportedly recovered near the fuselage of one of the aircrafts in the forest close to the crashsite, which is near the town of Ascoli Piceno.

A map showing where the town of Ascoli Piceno is located. Photo: Google Maps

The two military planes carrying a total of four crew members collided for unknown reasons and crashed into a wooded area.

Firefighters struggled to contain the raging flames and dark smoke could be seen from up to 25 km away​

Eyewitnesses quoted by the Italian press said they saw the two aircrafts flying low near Ascoli Piceno. They then heard a crash and saw one of them bursting into flames and both falling out of the sky. 

The wooded area bursting into fire after the crash. Photo: YouTube screen shot/ivanodue1

No civilian casualties were reported on the ground. 

While the authorities from the air force believe that  the crew members managed to eject before they crashed, the probability of finding them alive was very slim, according to local officials.

A local police chief was quoted by Italian newspaper La Repubblica as saying that they do not expect to find any survivors.

The  jets were from the Ghedi air base in northern Italy, and were expected to return after the training mission.

Local authorities have opened an investigation to find the cause of the tragedy.

Source: Xinhua, YouTube, Google Maps