At least 10 dead in fire at Brazil's Flamengo soccer training facility


A fire at a training centre of Rio de Janeiro football club Flamengo has killed 10 people, including members of the youth team, and injured at least three others, firefighters and news reports said.

"We can't tell you the cause of the fire, that needs to be investigated", he added. All three were taken to hospital, one of them reportedly in a serious condition.

Local media reported that the fire started in a dormitory where youth players sleep.

The fire brigade said in a statement that the center was "in the process of" meeting fire safety standards but did not yet have a certificate of approval. Overhead images captured by an Associated Press drone showed a smoky, charred area of the complex. Many players stay at the facilities while training.

As news of the fire broke, several teams and players expressed their condolences on Twitter.

After years of financial difficulties, Flamengo last year spent 23 million reais ($6.2 million) to expand the Ninho do Urubu facilities.

According to Reuters news agency, the site features accommodation for young players, several pitches, an aquatic park, a gym, a medical centre and a mini stadium.

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Youth league teams also train at the facility, known as Ninho do Urubu, which means "the vulture's nest".

Outside the complex, an AP reporter saw two ambulances and a fire truck enter. The facility was closed, and no officials had come out to address media.

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 minimize the suffering and pain of these families who are certainly suffering a lot and be sure that Flamengo is taking care of it and will spare no effort to minimize this.

Vinicius, now at Real Madrid, has already tweeted a message of support.

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. Instead, he went to a friend's house.

The main team had been due to practice at the same facility later in the morning. "Today I woke up and heard this bad news".