Two jets of the Indian Air Force's Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team collided in Bangalore a day before the Aero India show begins in the city. The pilots of the two jets have ejected safely, initial reports said. The accident took place during a rehearsal session ahead of the mega show.

The accident took place at the Yelahanka airbase in north Bangalore. A video showed thick, black plumes of smoke rising from the airbase.

Aero India 2019 will be held between February 20 and 24. The stunning formations by the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) in the Hawk advanced jet trainer, the Sarang team in the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the daring manoeuvres by its Jaguars, Mirages and MiGs are some of the highlights of the Aero show.

Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the five-day biennial event.

Bangalore has been hosting the Aero show since it started in 1996. The last Aero India show was held in February 2017.

Besides business delegates from the world over, official delegations from a dozen countries will witness the flypast and aerobatic display on the inaugural day. As against 72 aircraft in the previous edition in 2017, only 61 aircraft have registered for flying and static display on the tarmac of the air base this time.

This year, a battery of US Naval assets, including the F/A-18 Super Hornet, will be on display at the Aero show as part of strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries.

On Day One, a fly-by will be performed by B-52 Stratofortress bombers assigned to the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.