Ten die in Rio football club fire

Firefighters remove the body of a victim from a damaged bus which was hit by a mudslide after heavy rains in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

A fire tore through the sleeping quarters of a development league for one of Brazil's most popular professional soccer clubs on Friday, killing 10 people who were most likely players and injuring three others, authorities said.

Flamengo is one of Brazil's biggest and best-known clubs.

"Those who died were athletes", she said, adding that their identities had not been released and the cause of the fire was unknown.

The pre-dawn blaze in Rio de Janeiro hit a building that housed youth-category players aged 14 to 17, firefighters said.

Flamengo is one of the largest and most famous football clubs in Brazil, having graduated numerous top-ranked players including legendary attacking midfielder Zico. The fire department have said that they can not yet discount the possibillty that they will find more bodies.

Aerial imagery made by "Record" and "Globo" broadcasters shows a red-black CT area completely destroyed by flames.

Local media reported that the fire happened in a dorm where youth players sleep. Many players, particularly those who live outside of Rio de Janeiro, stay at the facilities while training.

After years of financial difficulties, Flamengo last year spent 23 million reais ($6.2 million) to expand the Ninho do Urubu facilities.

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In addition to accommodation for young players, the facilities include several pitches, an aquatic park, a gym, a medical centre and a mini stadium. It took around two hours for the fire to be brought under control.

The centre is located in the west of Rio de Janeiro, and according to the city's fire department ten lives have been lost.

"Lastly, I want to say that all of us in the club are in mourning".

Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr came through Flamengo's system and not long ago was living in the training facility.

"I am very happy". "He lost his phone, and all of his things, but the important thing is he is alive".

Although O Globo newspaper identified at least six of the dead as youth players, the only one named by a club official was Christian Esmerio, a 15-year-old goalkeeper. "Today I woke up and heard this bad news".

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 past year.

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