Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Flamengo training centre fire in Rio de Janeiro kills 10 people

Ten dead in fire at football club ground in Brazil Flamengo football club: Ten die in Rio de Janeiro fire
Cassandra Castillo | 08 February, 2019, 21:40

Firefighters say 10 people have died in a fire at a training complex for the football club Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro.

With former players such as Zico, Vinicius Junior, Ronaldinho, Bebeto, Romario and Leonardo, Flamengo is one of the best-supported clubs in Brazil and is well-known around the world.

The cause was not immediately known, but local newspaper Extra said witnesses alleged the fire started in the air conditioning system. One of the three injured, a 15-year-old boy, suffered severe burns and was transferred to a specialist hospital, reports said.

It is common for Brazilian clubs to host young players in dormitories while they are training with youth teams or at the club for trials, especially those from poor backgrounds or from outside the city. The fire department have said that they can not yet discount the possibillty that they will find more bodies.

Overhead images captured by an AP drone showed a charred area with smoke emerging. Many players stay at the facilities while training.

After years of financial difficulties, Flamengo last year spent 23 million reais ($6.2 million) to expand the Ninho do Urubu training ground, which was being used both by the first team and youth squads.

In addition to accommodation for young players, the facilities include several pitches, an aquatic park, a gym, a medical centre and a mini stadium.

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

More news: British racing cancelled because of flu

Globo TV broadcast aerial footage of the fire, which it said had been brought under control after it burned for two hours.

The club posted a graphic on Twitter that said "Flamengo is in mourning". The facility was closed, and no officials had come out to address media.

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

Real Madrid player Vinícius Júnior, who also played for Flamengo, tweeted a crying emoji, writing, "Such sad news".

A fire truck was seen entering Flamengo's training centre early Friday morning.

"I am very happy".

The Brazilian news channel identified at least six of the dead as youth players. Instead, he went to a friend's house. "Today I woke up and heard this bad news".

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