Fire at Flamengo football training centre kills 10 people

Ross Houston
February 8, 2019

There was no word on the cause of the fire.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who is in semi-intensive care in hospital following surgery on his abdomen, said he felt "the families' pain".

Flamengo, based in Rio de Janeiro, is considered as one of the most supported and established soccer clubs in the history of Brazilian soccer, featuring former players Romario, Bebeto and Ronaldinho.

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

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior, who joined the club from Flamengo a year ago, said: "Just remembering the nights and days I spent at the training center, it gives me goosebumps". I'm left in disbelief, but praying for everyone. The rains led Flamengo to close parts of its social club and cancel regular training sessions it organises for children.

Like many clubs who sign youngsters from across the country, the facility has accommodation for teenagers, although it was unclear exactly how many players were among the dead.

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. The facility, which translates to the "Vulture's Nest", is so called because the club's symbol is a vulture.

Flamengo is the most popular club in football-crazed Brazil.

The best of those eventually play for Flamengo and several other teams across Brazil.

"We must absolutely give all the support necessary to the victims' loved ones because majority aren't from Rio", Felipe Bornier, the Rio state sports secretary, told journalists. Six people were killed. Local media reported that the fire happened in a dorm where young players sleep.

It's only two years since Brazilian football was in mourning over the airplane disaster that decimated the Chapecoense team. It housed players between 14 and 17 years of age.

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