A 3-day mourning has been declared in Rio as investigators seek to determine the cause of the fire that killed 10 teenage footballers at the training centre of the city’s Flamengo football club on Friday. It is the worst tragedy to happen to the club in its 123 years.
The city said in a statement that the area burned was registered for parking, not as a dormitory, and that an investigation into the licensing process was underway.
Samuel Barbosa, a 16-year-old player who survived the fire, told Globo TV news that a lot of smoke had filled the dorm.
Latin America’s largest nation suffers from shoddy infrastructure, often exacerbated by lax oversight of construction and endemic corruption.
The Associated Press reported that the victims included goalkeeper Christian, 15, a regular in Brazil’s youth teams and who already attracted the attention of several top European clubs.
Defender Pablo, 14, had been with Flamengo since last year and his cousin, Werley, was already playing professionally with rival Vasco da Gama. Forward Athila, 14, had joined Flamengo from the same academy where Atlético Madrid striker Costa played as a teenager before thriving internationally.
Júnior had lived in the same complex that was destroyed on Friday before Real Madrid bought him for nearly $51m less than two years.
Flamengo is perhaps the most famous club in the country, with an estimated 40 million fans nationwide.
Among the most famous players who came through the club are Ronaldinho, Zico and Adriano.
Flamingo Club Fire: 10 youth footballers have been burnt to death when fire razed a dormitory at the youth team training centre of one of Brazil’s biggest football Clubs Flamengo football club, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Reports say Three other people were also injured when the fire broke out at the Ninho de Urubu, the training ground of The club.
The fire reportedly broke out as players were sleeping. The cause is not yet known.
Flamengo is one of Brazil’s biggest and best-known clubs.
None of the victims has been identified but players aged between 14 and 17 are known to have used the dormitory.