Fire at training ground of Brazilian club Flamengo -- 10 dead

08 February, 2019, 21:40 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Firefighters remove the body of a victim from a damaged bus which was hit by a mudslide after heavy rains in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

A fire at the training centre of Rio de Janeiro football club Flamengo has killed 10 people and injured at least three others, firefighters have said.

Fans of Brazilian football club Flamengo gather to lay flowers at the entrance of the club's training center after a deadly fire in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 8 February 2019.

Flamengo's president Rodolfo Landim has promised to work with authorities to find the cause of the fire which has claimed 10 lives, calling it the "worst tragedy" in their 123-year history.

None of the victims has been identified but the youth players are said to be aged between 14 and 16.

All of those killed were youth players for the team, one of Brazil's top clubs, according to local media. Overhead images captured by an Associated Press drone showed a smoky, charred area of the complex.

Players were reportedly sleeping in their dorm when the fire broke out.

Like many clubs who sign youngsters from across the country, the facility has accommodation for teenagers, although it was unclear exactly how many players were among the dead.

The club spent roughly $6.2 million to expand the training ground known as "Ninho do Urubu" over the past year.

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Youth league teams also train at the facility, known as Ninho do Urubu.

The club have posted a message on its Twitter feed which says: "Flamengo is in mourning". The fire was under control by 7.30am.

Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr came through Flamengo's system and not long ago was living in the training facility.

Family members, friends and neighbors were gathering outside in hopes of getting information.

"We are extremely sad and shaken by the news of the fire", tweeted Chapeco, a team in southern Brazil that lost 22 players in a plane crash in 2016.

Jefferson Rodrigues, who runs a small inn near the club, said he had reached a 15-year-old player he had befriended. "I just spoke to Caix Suarez and he is alive", said Rodrigues, adding that the youth told him he ran when he saw the flames.

"The most important thing now is to dedicate ourselves to trying to minimise the suffering and pain of these families, who are certainly suffering a lot". Instead, he went to a friend's house.

The main team had been due to practice at the same facility later in the morning, for their last training session ahead of Saturday's derby against fierce local rivals Fluminense. "Today I woke up and heard this awful news".

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