Tragedy Strikes Flamengo: Fire Kills 10, Including 6 Teenage Youth Players

A fire at the Flamengo training center in Rio de Janeiro has left the club in mourning.

Just a day after the body of Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala was found in plane wreckage at the bottom of the English Channel, the footballing world is again in mourning after a devastating fire struck Flamengo’s training center in Rio de Janeiro on Friday morning. 

Officials have said 10 are dead, including six youth players between the ages of 14 and 17. The other four victims were Flamengo employees. Three more people were wounded, including one in critical condition.

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Flamengo is one of Brazil’s most popular and wealthy clubs and plays at the storied Maracanã Stadium; it was founded in 1895. 

As of yet, authorities have not stated the cause of the fire, which broke out just after 5 a.m. Friday and wasn't under control until after 7 a.m. Most of the victims' names have not been released, though 15-year-old goalkeeper Christian Esmério has been confirmed among the deceased. 

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Club legend Zico gave his condolences on Instagram. 

“What a tragedy this with the Flamengo base. What a shock to receive this news here on the other side of the world. That it was a fatality. May God comfort the relatives who lost their children, grandchildren, brothers, nephews, relatives. Boys who dreamed of a future in their lives and many, without doubt, looking to help their families. Let everything be hurried because such a tragedy cannot go blank. Lives are gone. May the Black and Red Nation have the strength and faith to overcome this moment.”

The Flamengo youth academy has developed its fair share of pros, most recently Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr.

“What sad news! Let’s pray for everyone. Strength, strength and strength.”

“Just to remember the nights and days that I spent [at the center, is to shiver. Still not believing, but in prayer for all! May God bless each one's family!”

The tragic Flamengo fire comes on the heels of six deaths on Wednesday night in Rio due to flooding and mudslides. And last year, another devastating fire in Rio erupted at the national museum, destroyed upwards of 20 million artifacts

The tragedy striking a famed football club in Brazil also brings back memories of the horrific plane crash that killed all but three Chapecoense players on the way to a Copa Sudamericana match in 2016. 

“Brazilian football joins in solidarity with the victims of this tragedy. #ForçaFlamengo.”

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