Six people were killed and seven more were injured when a fourth-floor balcony collapsed early this morning during a birthday party at a Berkeley, California, apartment complex. All five killed were Irish students, as were some of those injured.
Police were unable to confirm what sort of gathering was taking place at the apartment, saying only that a call came in just before 1 a.m. about a balcony collapse.
Thirteen people fell from the balcony and four were pronounced dead at the scene, according to Berkeley Police spokesman Bryon White. He said one person later died at a local hospital and eight other people were being treated for injuries.
The Irish Times reports that the party was to celebrate the 21st birthday of an Irish student spending the summer at UC Berkeley on a J1 visa. The Library Gardens Apartment complex, where the accident took place, is located two blocks from the university.
“It is too early to know the full extent of this dreadful accident,” Ireland’s minister of foreign affairs, Charles Flanagan, said in a statement. ”It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.”