Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Young players die in Rio fire

Young players die in Rio fire

A fire at the training centre of Rio de Janeiro football club Flamengo has killed 10 people and injured at least three others, firefighters have said.

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

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. The call for help occurred at 05:17 and the report also states that there are three other people in serious condition.

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

Rio de Janeiro is one of the world's most violent cities with frequent shootouts between police and drug gangs and an annual homicide rate of around 50 per 100,000 inhabitants.

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"We are extremely sad and shaken by the news of the fire", tweeted Chapecoense, a team in southern Brazil that lost 22 players in a plane crash in 2016. "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 in the morning.

Club legend Zico wrote on Instagram: "May God comfort the families who lost their children, grandchildren, brothers, nephews, relatives".

"Flamengo is in mourning" the team said on its Twitter account.

At one point a shot was heard ringing out from a house and moments later two heavily armed officers were seen on a pickup truck carrying two bodies shrouded in blood-soaked sheets. "Lives are gone. May the Black and red nation have the strength and faith to overcome this moment".

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) also offered a message of support.

Officials postponed Saturday's two semifinals of the Guanabara Cup, one of which was between Flamengo and Rio rival Fluminense.

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