Two Italian jet fighters collided in midair during a training exercise, before crashing into the hillside in the Marsche region in the town of Mozzano on Tuesday.
The crash immediately set off fire which spread across the wide range of the wooded area, sending billows of thick smoke into the sky for miles and in the nearby village of Olibia and Venarotta.
The two Italian Tornado jets were said to be on a military training exercise about 30 kilometers from Ascoli when villagers suddenly heard a loud explosion and saw the aircrafts spiraling down into the mountain before the hills burst in flame.
“A giant ball of fire lasted for five seconds before slamming into the mountains”, one witness, Fabio Valeri, told Italian news channel TG 24.
Four people, the pilots and navigators of each jets, remains missing, but unconfirmed reports said witnesses saw people ejecting from the aircraft after the collision. Air force rescuers in helicopters were sent to the crash site and are now searching for the pilots and navigators. (Click here to read more)