6 dead, 7 injured after balcony collapses in California

BERKELEY, CA (KRON) — Berkeley police have confirmed that six people died and seven more were seriously injured early Tuesday morning after a balcony collapsed at an apartment complex on Kittredge Street.

The accident happened around 12:41 a.m. during a 21st birthday celebration inside an apartment at 2020 Kittredge St., according to Berkeley police spokeswoman officer Jennifer Coats.

13 people plunged about 40 feet onto the street after a fourth floor balcony collapsed. Four people died at the scene, two died later at the hospital.

There are several more victims — both male and female — still being treated at different hospitals, some with life-threatening injuries, according to police. At least four of the victims are being treated at Eden Medical Center, according to hospital officials. John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek has two patients.

Some of the party attendees were here for the summer on work visas from Ireland, according to police.

According to reports, all the balconies in the complex were red-tagged and deemed unsafe before the accident. The Library Gardens apartments, located in downtown Berkeley, are surrounded by museums, restaurants, coffee shops and chain stores and is just blocks from the University of California, Berkeley.

The Irish government released a statement saying several of the victims are young people from Ireland.

The full statement, by Minister Charles Flanagan reads:

“It is with great sadness that I confirm that a number of young Irish citizens have lost their lives while a number of others have been seriously injured following the collapse of a balcony in Berkeley, California earlier today.

“My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the deceased and those who have been injured in this appalling accident.  My Department in Dublin stands ready to provide all possible consular assistance to the Irish citizens affected by this tragedy. 

“Our Consul General in San Francisco is in close contact with the authorities and will be providing assistance to those affected on the ground.

“It is too early to know the full extent of this dreadful accident but I have opened my Department’s Consular Crisis Centre and activated our emergency response line so we can provide assistance and guidance to the families of those affected and to others who have concerns. “

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