Published Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 | 9 a.m.
Updated Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 | 10:01 a.m.
ROME — Two Italian air force fighter jets carrying a total of four crew members collided during a training mission over Italy on Tuesday and crashed into a hilly, wooded area that erupted in flames, the force said.
It wasn't immediately known whether the two pilots and two navigators managed to eject from the Tornado jets. The collision occurred over east-central Italy, and an air search was being conducted for them, the air force said.
A Civil Protection official, Susanna Balducci, told Sky TG24 TV there were no civilian casualties on the ground after the crash in woods near the town of Ascoli.
Balducci said a firefighting helicopter was trying to extinguish the blaze, whose flames and dark smoke were visible for kilometers (miles).
Witnesses quoted in Italian news reports said they saw two military planes flying low near Ascoli, then heard a crash and saw flames.