Six people lost their lives and seven were seriously injured when the balcony of an apartment in Berkeley, California collapsed. The survivors are hospitalized in very critical condition said the spokesman of the Police Department of Berkeley.
The Irish government announced that several of the victims are young Irishmen.
Thousands of Irish students travel every summer in the United States to work temporarily on the basis of a program granting temporary residence and work permits in the country. California is one of the most popular destinations and many Irish exploit the departure of the students of Berkeley for the summer holidays and rent their rooms in the city.
The police authorities are working with the Fire Department and city officials to determine the cause of the collapse.
According to Grace Kang, a structural engineer and spokeswoman for Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center at Berkeley, the balcony’s dimensions looked to be 4ft by 6ft and it was designed to hold 1,440 pounds. Consequently, 13 adults were too much for this balcony. She said “They were packed like sardines, and then they were moving. When people are moving on the structure, it could “further exacerbate” the strain.”