Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Fire at Flamengo training centre in Rio kills 10

Fire at Flamengo training centre in Rio kills 10

Rio de Janeiro: Fire swept through a training facility for Brazil´s most popular football club Flamengo Friday, killing at least 10 people, authorities said.

Crews were called just after 5am to the Ninho de Urubu training ground of the Flamengo club in western Rio de Janeiro, a fire official said.

There was no word yet on the cause of the fire and messages to Flamengo officials were not immediately answered. All three were taken to a hospital, one of them reportedly in serious condition.

Of the ten, four are Flamengo youth team players, two are young boys on trial, and four are club employees. The ages of the injured were 14, 15 and 16, according to a fire official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of agency rules.

Aerial imagery made by "Record" and "Globo" broadcasters shows a red-black CT area completely destroyed by flames.

The blaze engulfed a dormitory at the youth team center where the players were sleeping.

The blaze broke out at 5:00 am in the Vargem Grande district of Rio in a modern facility where the top-flight professional Flamengo squad also trains, the news website G1 said.

The Ninho de Urubu ("Vulture's Nest" - so named because the symbol of the club is a vulture) centre underwent a major expansion a year ago, with the club spending 23m reals (£4.8m, $6.2m), Reuters news agency reports.

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

"It's the worst tragedy in the club's 123 years", said Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim, who visited the scene.

The Rio de Janeiro governor, Wilson Witzel, has declared three days of mourning for the deaths of those affected by the floods and the fire.

Outside the complex, an AP reporter saw two ambulances and a fire truck enter.

Jefferson Rodrigues, who runs a small inn near the club, said he had reached a 15-year-old player he had befriended.

"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".

The main team had been due to practice at the same facility later in the morning.

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

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