Saturday, April 1, 2023

Tragedy Hits Brazilian Club Flamengo As Fire Kills 10 At Team’s Training Center

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A fire at the training ground of Brazilian football club Flamengo has killed 10 people and injured at least three others, firefighters have said. The fire broke out at Ninho do Urubu, a state-of-the-art training facility that was expanded and opened only two months ago, on Friday morning. It was not known if any players were hurt in the blaze, although the Rio de Janeiro-based club has accommodation for teenage players at the ground. Reports suggest the fire broke out at 5:10am (7:10 GMT) and was extinguished by 7:30am. The ages and identities of those killed were not released but the three injured were 14, 15 and 16 years old, a fire official told AP. The injured were taken to local hospitals and their conditions were not immediately known, said the official. ‘The kids from the Flamengo youth team were sleeping there at the time,’ firefighter Douglas Henaut told Globo News. Local media are suggesting the fire broke out in a dormitory where youth players sleep, but fire officials could not confirm that. Images displayed by Globo TV from a helicopter showed smoke emerging from a charred area. Footage showed corrugated iron roofs distorted by the fire and piles of charred items. Nearby trees were also scorched by the flames. After years of financial difficulties, Flamengo last year spent £4.7million to expand the Ninho do Urubu facilities. In addition to accommodation for young players, the facilities include several pitches, an aquatic park, a gym, a medical centre and a mini stadium. The Ninho do Urubu, or Vulture’s Nest, is so called because the club’s symbol is a vulture.  The club tweeted a picture of the club’s badge with the message: ‘Flamengo is in mourning’.  With former players such as Zico, Vinicius Junior, Ronaldinho, Bebeto, Romario and Leonardo, Flamengo is one of the best-supported clubs in Brazil and is well-known around the world. Vinicius, now at Real Madrid, has already tweeted a message of support. He said: ‘What sad news! Let us pray for all! Strength, strength and strength. ‘Just remembering the nights and days I spent at the training centre, it gives me goosebumps. ‘I still can’t believe it but praying for all. God bless everyone’s family.’ Flamengo won the Copa Libertadores in 1981 and won the Intercontinental Cup in the same year, beating Liverpool 3-0 in the final in Tokyo. They have won the Brazilian Serie A on five occasions with their most recent coming in 2009. There have also been three Copa do Brasil successes in 1990, 2006 and 2013. Photo Credit: Getty

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