Firefighters were called in just after 5 a.m. local time to battle a blaze at the sprawling Ninho de Urubu training ground of the Flamengo soccer club in Rio de Janeiro's western region, a fire official told The Associated Press. One of the three injured, a 15-year-old boy, suffered severe burns and was transferred to a specialist hospital, reports said. Ventura remains in critical situation with burns on 30 percent of his body.
"We are distraught", Flamengo President Rodolfo Landim said outside the complex, where friends, fans and neighbors gathered, some forming a circle to pray.
This is certainly the biggest tragedy this club has ever experienced in its 123-year history with the lives of these 10 people lost.
Some of its most prominent former players include World Cup winners Ronaldinho, Bebeto and Romario, and more recently wonderkid Vincius Jr. We are collaborating with the authorities so that they can find the cause of this accident.
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There was no word yet on the cause of the fire.
It was not known if any players were hurt in the blaze, although the club has accommodation for teenage players at the ground.
Images from Globo TV from a helicopter showed smoke emerging from a charred area. It took around two hours for the fire to be brought under control.
Local media reported that the fire started in a dorm where youth soccer players sleep.
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"The air conditioner caught fire, and I ran out", Felipe Cardoso said, according to BBC News. "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.
Law enforcement officials in Brazil's second largest city say that at least 11 suspected drug traffickers were killed in a shootout with police in a slum located in the bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood.
Police said agents were tipped that as many as 20 perpetrators were at a community municipal savings building in Rio de Janeiro.
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