Friday, 22 February, 2019


Fire in Brazil kills at least 10 in Flamengo youth football facility

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 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
Noah Ferguson | 08 February, 2019, 21:43

Ten people have died and at least three others have been injured after a fire broke out at the youth training ground of Brazilian football club Flamengo on Friday, according to state-run news agency Agencia Brazil.

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior, who joined the club from Flamengo past year, said: "Just remembering the nights and days I spent at the training center, it gives me goosebumps".

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. The dormitory is known to have been home to players aged 14 to 17.

He did not take questions from reporters who also were outside the complex but added: "The most important thing right now is to minimise the suffering of these families".

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.

Players were reportedly sleeping in their dorm when the fire broke out. In addition to accommodation for young players, the facilities include several pitches, an aquatic park, a gym, a medical centre and a mini stadium.

After years of financial difficulties, Flamengo last year spent $6.2 million U.S. to expand the Ninho do Urubu training ground.

The Ninho do Urubu, or Vulture's Nest is so called because the club's symbol is a vulture.

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

"I'm very sad", said 16-year old Augusto Mateus, who turned up wearing a red Flamengo shirt.

Debris from the fire at Flamengo football club's training complex litters the ground in Rio de Janeiro.

The club have posted a message on its Twitter feed which says: "Flamengo is in mourning".

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

Although O Globo newspaper identified at least six of the dead as youth players, the only one named by a club official was Christian Esmerio, a 15-year-old goalkeeper.

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

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