Six dead in balcony collapse

Six Irish people have been killed and seven others remain in hospital after a fourth-floor balcony collapsed at a US apartment in Berkeley.

The collapse happened on Tuesday (16th June) in the city of Berkeley.

Philip Grant, the Consul General of Ireland to the Western United States said;

“We’re still in an emergency response mode.  It’s a formative experience, and to have this happen … has left us all frozen in shock and disbelief”.

The victims were Ashley Donohoe, 22, Olivia Burke, 21, Eoghan Culligan, 21, Niccolai Schuster, 21, Lorcan Miller, 21 and Eimear Walsh, 21.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation, but the city’s police chief said there was no indication of any criminal activity at this point.  Photos taken at the scene appear to show a 5ft x 10ft (1.5m x 3m) balcony on the fourth floor of the building fallen on to the balcony on the level below.

Enda Kenny, the Irish Prime Minister, said that police had told him there were 13 people on the balcony when it collapsed.  Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said that four of the victims died at the scene and another died in hospital.

A Berkeley city official said that building inspectors had visited the building on Tuesday.  Three remaining balconies on the building have been closed.