A fire has engulfed a dormitory at the youth team training centre of one of Brazil’s biggest football clubs, Flamengo FC killing 10 people.
The victims have not been named but are said to include young players staying at Ninho de Urubu, the training ground of Flamengo football club in Rio de Janeiro.
Three teenagers were also injured, one of them seriously.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated.
However, one young player said the fire started in an air conditioner in his room.
“The air conditioner caught fire, and I ran out,” said Felipe Cardoso, a player with the under-17 side. “Thank God I managed to run and I’m still alive.”
Flamengo is one of Brazil’s biggest and best-known clubs internationally. They play in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A league where they finished in second place last season.
Brazil football legend Pelé described the club as “a place where young people pursue their dreams”.
“It’s a very sad day for Brazilian football,” he tweeted.
Former Brazil star Ronaldinho offered his condolences for the “terrible tragedy” in a tweet on Friday morning. He published the club’s crest in black-and-white alongside the message.
None of the victims has been identified but the youth players are said to be aged between 14 and 16. One of the three injured, a 15-year-old boy, suffered severe burns and was transferred to a specialist hospital, reports said.
The area has been hit by severe storms and heavy rain in recent days and the weather may have left the facility without water or electricity when the fire struck, G1 reported.
The club’s most prominent former players include World Cup winners Ronaldinho, Bebeto and Romario.
As well as being one of Brazil’s most successful football clubs, Flamengo also has basketball, rowing, swimming and volleyball teams.