Four Italian airmen missing after two Air Force jets collide in midair

Pilots may have ejected in time, unofficial sources say

(ANSA) - Ascoli Piceno, August 19 - Two Italian Air Force Tornado jets collided in midair while on a training run, then crashed into wooded hills in the Marche region, setting off raging forest fires, officials said Tuesday.

    A total of four airmen - two pilots and two co-pilots - are missing and search-and-rescue teams are combing the forested area surrounding the crash site for signs of them.
    The pilots ejected from the planes before they crashed, although no parachutes were seen, unofficial sources said. 

    On the ground, firefighters battled various blazes in the wooded hills overlooking the Marche town of Ascoli Piceno, as the flames drew closer to the village of Casa Murana.

    Eyewitnesses saw one of the two jets burst into flames after they touched in midair, then both craft fell out of the sky. No victims have been reported so far, official sources told ANSA.