Fire kills ten in Vincius Jr's old club Flamengo sports complex

Fire kills ten in Vincius Jr's old club Flamengo sports complex

A fire broke out in the early hours of Friday at the Brazilian side's Urubu's Nest base that also provides accommodation for some of the club's young players.

Overhead images captured by an AP drone showed a charred area with smoke emerging.

The injured were taken to local hospitals and their conditions were not immediately known, said the official, who asked that his name not be used due to his agency's rules.

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

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.

At least three youths aged 14 and 15 were injured in the blaze.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Local reports say the fire broke out at 5.10am and they managed to get it under control by 7.30am.

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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.

The fire follows days of heavy rains that hit the city and claimed at least six lives, leading Flamengo to close parts of its social club and cancel regular training sessions it organizes for children.

Officials postponed Saturday's two semifinals of the Guanabara Cup, one of which was between Flamengo and Fluminense at the famous Maracana stadium, host of the 2014 World Cup final. "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. The facility was closed, and no officials had come out to address media. 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.

"The majority of them [the team] stayed, my friends stayed [at the facility]", he said. Many players stay at the facilities while training. "Today I woke up and heard this awful news".

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

The dream of many youths in Latin America's largest nation, victor of five World Cup titles, is to make it into the ranks of professional soccer. The development leagues identify promising players at a young age, working with them as they grow through their teenage years.

Several of the club's best-known young talents trained there, including midfielder Lucas Paqueta, who made his debut for AC Milan in January, and Vinicius Junior, who joined Real Madrid previous year.

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