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

Lynette Rowe
February 8, 2019

Three people were also injured when the fire broke out at Ninho de Urubu, the training ground of Flamengo football club, in Rio de Janeiro.

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

The ages and identities of those killed were not released but the three injured were 14, 15 and 16, the fire official said.

There is still no official information about what caused the fire.

As for Flamengo's senior team, its match against in-city rival Fluminense in the Rio state semifinal on Saturday has been postponed due to the tragic events that took place Friday morning, the Rio soccer confederation announced.

Tributes poured in from the world of football.

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.

Flamengo is one of the largest and most famous football clubs in Brazil, having graduated numerous top-ranked players including legendary attacking midfielder Zico.

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"We are distraught", Flamengo President Rodolfo Landim said outside the complex, where friends, fans and neighbors gathered, some forming a circle to pray. Many players, particularly those who live outside of Rio de Janeiro, stay at the facilities while training.

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

Flamengo have a youth development programme for promising young players in their early teens.

Messages to Flamengo officials were not immediately answered. "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.

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 country's biggest current star Neymar, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in France, posted a picture on his Instagram account of the Flamengo club badge with the words: "My sympathies".

"The majority of them (the team) stayed, my friends stayed (at the facility)", he said.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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