Rio de Janeiro is in three days of mourning while investigators look into the cause of a fire that killed ten teenage footballers at their training center. The fire took place at Flamengo’s football club the morning of February 8.
The vice governor of Rio de Janeiro, Cláudio Castro, says authorities are considering the possibility of a short circuit in an AC unit.
16-year-old fire survivor, Samuel Barbosa, says a lot of smoke filled the dorm. He says that many didn’t make it because of how much fire there was.
In a statement, the city of Rio said the area that burned was registered for parking rather than a dormitory. An investigation into the process of licensing was underway when the fire happened.
According to the public health secretary of the state, Beatriz Busch, three others sustained injuries from the fire. While two are stable, the third victim is critically ill.
A series of relatives of the victims entered the complex that night. No one spoke to reporters, and some were crying.
Rodolfo Landim, the president of Flamengo, gives his condolences outside the complex. He said this was the worst tragedy to befall the club in all its 123 years of existence. The most important thing to do now, he continued to say, is to lessen the suffering of these families who lost young loved ones at the beginning of their professional dreams.
The largest nation in Latin America suffers significantly from poor quality infrastructure, endemic corruption, and often exacerbated by an oversight in construction.
One of the family members of a victim says his nephew never complained about the conditions of his housing or the training center. He enjoyed the environment and his teammates.
Families Release Names of Victims from Tragic Fire in Rio de Janeiro
While the identities of the fire’s victims have not made it to the public, their names came out through family members and survivors of the tragedy.
Goalkeeper Christian, 15, was a regular in Brazil’s youth teams. He reportedly had the attention of a variety of top European clubs.
Defender Pablo, 14, was with Flamengo since the previous year. His cousin, Werley, was already playing with Flamengo’s professional rival Vasco de Gama.
Meanwhile, Forward Athila, 14, joined the club from the same academy where Atlético Madrid striker Costa played in his younger years before becoming an international player.
Real Madrid forward, Vinícius Júnior, tweeted his sadness for the happenings earlier that day. Júnior lived in that very complex before he joined Real Madrid for 45 million euro at the time only two years ago. Still unable to believe it like many others, Júnior says his prayers are with the victims and their families.
Football is a countrywide passion in Brazil. Many of the best players and top officials of the sport all over the world send their condolences.
Chapecoense, a southern Brazil team lost 22 players in a plane crash back in 2016. They send their sadness and express how shaken they are by the news.
As perhaps the most famous club in Brazil, Flamengo has nearly 40 million fans across the nation. Players created a motto for their academy team: Flamengo makes legends at home.
Some of the most famous players to have started at the club are Ronaldinho and Zico. The former stars made it to Brazil’s national team. Adriano, top goal-scorer rising to fame at Inter Milan also attended Flamengo.