Ten Die in Fire At Brazilian Football Club Flamengo

8th February 2019
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IMG_20190208_220850 Entertainment Gists Foreign General News News Sports World news

A fire has engulfed a dormitory at the youth team training centre of one of Brazil’s biggest football clubs, killing 10 people.

The victims have not been named but are said to include young players staying at Ninho de Urubu, the training ground of Flamengo football club in Rio de Janeiro.

Three teenagers were also injured, one of them seriously.

The cause of the blaze is being investigated.

However, one young player said the fire started in an air conditioner in his room.

“The air conditioner caught fire, and I ran out,” said Felipe Cardoso, a player with the under-17 side. “Thank God I managed to run and I’m still alive.”

Flamengo is one of Brazil’s biggest and best-known clubs internationally. They play in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A league where they finished in second place last season.

Club president Rodolfo Landim told reporters this was “without a doubt the worst tragedy this club has been through” in its 123-year history.

“The most important thing now is for us to try to minimise the pain and suffering of these families”.

105573047_052172527 Entertainment Gists Foreign General News News Sports World news Friends and family face an anxious wait for news outside the ground

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.

Brazilian star forward and Paris Saint-Germain player Neymar posted the club’s crest on Instagram, writing: “My sentiments.”

President Jair Bolsonaro, who is receiving treatment for pneumonia, tweeted a statement from the hospital “in solidarity” with the mourning families.

He said the tragedy made victims of young people “on the journey to realising their professional dreams”.

What do we know so far?

According to the G1 news portal, the fire began at 05:10 (07:10 GMT) and was extinguished by 07:30.

Channel SporTV reports that six players were killed and four team staff.

The youth players are said to be aged between 14 and 16. One of the three injured, a 15-year-old boy, suffered severe burns and was transferred to a specialist hospital, reports said.

Fire service Lt Col Douglas Henaut told reporters that rescuers managed to save victims outside the building, but “we only found bodies inside”.

“The place was completely overtaken by fire,” he said.

105574378_052174006 Entertainment Gists Foreign General News News Sports World news Bodies of the victims have been transported away from the training centre

The area has been hit by severe storms and heavy rain in recent days and the weather may have left the facility without water or electricity when the fire struck, G1 reported.

Local media reports suggest the fire happened in an older part of the centre that was scheduled to be torn down.

It is unknown if there were smoke alarms present.

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Flamengo’s pride in youth academy

Analysis by Fernando Duarte, BBC Brasil

Flamengo is one of the few Brazilian clubs that can boast an expressive national fan base in Brazil. A poll released last April suggested they are the first team for 32.5 million Brazilians.

The club owes a great chunk of this support to an incredible run of four Brazilian titles and a victorious Copa Libertadores campaign (the South American version of the Uefa Champions League) in the 1980s.

It has also produced arguably one of the greatest all-time Brazilian players – Arthur Antunes “Zico” Coimbra, a member of the 1982 World Cup squad that failed to win the titles but won worldwide plaudits for its slick style.

The club is also proud of the tradition of its youth academy – their motto is “we make our star players at home” – which will make this tragedy even sadder.

_105573052_464x2 Entertainment Gists Foreign General News News Sports World news

Who are Flamengo?

The club’s most prominent former players include World Cup winners Ronaldinho, Bebeto and Romario.

As well as being one of Brazil’s most successful football clubs, Flamengo also has basketball, rowing, swimming and volleyball teams.

In a tweet on Friday, the team said it was “in mourning”.

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