The students killed in a Berkeley, California balcony collapse have been identified as a group of students, which includes 5 from Ireland in what officials from the nation referred to as a “national tragedy.”
“We have thousands of Irish students come to the US every summer time. … To have this occur at the start out of this season is a thing that has left us all frozen in shock and in disbelief,” mentioned Phillip Grant, the consul-basic of Ireland.
Authorities mentioned they were still attempting to figure out what caused the collapse early Tuesday morning that also left seven men and women seriously injured. The injured have been reportedly getting treated at Eden, Highland and John Muir hospitals.
“From some of the officers I spoke with, they told me that it was rather disturbing,” said Berkeley Police Department Officer Byron White. “Any time you have a tragedy like this involving young men and women, it really is disturbing. … You hear just goes out to the families.”
Officials stated that 5 students were from Ireland — Oliva Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller, and Eimear Walsh, all 21.
Owen Buckley, 21, a student at Dublin State University, said he knew one particular girl who’d attended the girl. Buckley said she’d been injured and hospitalized.
“It was just a loud crash,” stated Buckley, who was not at the party and in his unit on the third floor, “and then silence for a couple of minutes and then just a scream.”
“We had been confident an individual was shot,” he said.
All were on J-1 student visas and participating in a student exchange summer time function program. Most were from South Dublin and attended different schools.
“My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the deceased and these who have been injured in this appalling accident,” Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan mentioned in the statement.
Ashley Donohoe, 22, of Rohnert Park, California, was also killed in the incident.
Witnesses said the group was celebrating a 21st birthday when the balcony, located on the fourth floor of the creating, on Kittredge Street, collapsed around 12:41 a.m.
“I just heard a bang and a lot of shouting,” Dan Sullivan, a 21-year-old student from Ireland, told The Related Press.
Authorities are operating with constructing inspectors to figure out what caused the collapse, police stated.
According to officials, the developing was under construction from 2005 to 2007. A final inspection was made in January 2007, but the outcomes have been not quickly clear.
Three apartments in the building with comparable balconies had been “red-tagged” officials stated, which forbids access to the region.
According to officials, the developing was subject to the 1998 building code, which meant that balconies had to be capable to withstand 60 pounds per square foot of stress. It was not clear how significantly pressure was being exerted when the balcony collapsed.
Police Chief Michael Neeham stated the division had received a noise complaint about the creating but it was provided a lower priority since of a contact of shots fired elsewhere. When police did respond to the contact for the balcony collapse, they arrived inside 2 minutes, the chief said.
Greystar Management, which oversees the constructing, expressed its condolences in a statement.
“As the home management organization, we have taken precautionary actions to limit access to other balconies at the apartment complicated as law enforcement completes its investigation,” a rep for the company said in a statement. “The safety of our residents is our highest priority and we will be working with an independent structural engineer and local authorities to decide the result in of the accident.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.