A fire at the training center of Rio de Janeiro football club Flamengo killed 10 people and injured at least three others on Friday.
The fire broke out at Ninho do Urubu, a state-of-the-art training center that was expanded and opened only two months ago. The facility has accommodation for teenage players.
“The kids from the Flamengo youth team were sleeping there at the time,” lieutenant colonel of the fire brigade Douglas Henaut told Globo News.
Brazilian television channel reported youth players were among the dead, after speaking to Henaut.
“We know the place, which is the accommodation, where the players in Flamengo’s training base sleep. The identification of the victims will be done later by the Civil Police, in relation to the 10 people killed in the fire,” he said.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Henaut confirmed they do not yet know the cause of the fire. Firemen were called shortly after 5 am local time
The victims have not yet been identified but the dormitory was used by players aged between 14 and 17.
Flamengo, which plays at Rio’s famous Maracanã stadium, is one of Brazil’s best-known teams both at home and internationally.
The Club deeply regrets
“The Flamengo Regatta Club deeply regrets the tragedy that caused ten fatalities at the George Helal Training Center at dawn on Friday (8) and is entirely available to authorities and families to assist in determining the causes of the fire and , in some way, to minimize the pain and suffering of the families of the athletes and employees affected.” post from the Club’s website
Flamengo is one of Brazil’s biggest and best-known clubs internationally. They currently sit at second place in Brazil’s Série A table and have won the league five times.
Brazil football legend Pelé described the club as “a place where young people pursue their dreams”.
“It’s a very sad day for Brazilian football,” he tweeted.
Former Brazil star Ronaldinho offered his condolences for the “terrible tragedy” in a tweet on Friday morning. He published the club’s crest in black-and-white alongside the message
“A very big sadness, my condolences and heartfelt feelings to all the familiar and the red-black nation. Terrible tragedy!!!”
Uma tristeza muito grande, meus pêsames e sinceros sentimentos a todos familiares e a nação rubro-negra. Terrível tragédia!!! pic.twitter.com/ociPSpWvVd
— Ronaldinho Gaúcho (@10Ronaldinho) February 8, 2019
Flamengo are due to play close rivals Fluminense on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Taca Guanabara (Rio de Janeiro State Cup competition).
As well as being one of Brazil’s most successful football clubs, Flamengo also has basketball, rowing, swimming and volleyball teams.
The club has most prominent former players include World Cup winners Ronaldinho, Bebeto and Romario.
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