Victims of Berkeley balcony collapse named

The victims of the balcony collapse disaster in Berkeley, California have been named. The Alameda...

12.15 16 Jun 2015

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Victims of Berkeley balcony co...

Victims of Berkeley balcony collapse named


12.15 16 Jun 2015

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The victims of the balcony collapse disaster in Berkeley, California have been named.

The Alameda County coroner has named the following during a press conference:

Ashley Donohoe, 22, Rohnert Park, California
Olivia Burke, 21, Ireland
Eoghan Culligan, 21, Ireland
Niccolai Schuster, 21, Ireland
Lorcan Miller, 21, Ireland
Eimear Walsh, 21, Ireland


At least seven others were injured in the accident at the apartment complex, and are being treated at a number of different hospitals. 

It is understood a number of the casualties were from south Dublin and had been attending universities in the city. According to the Independent, Irish-American Ashley Donohue was a cousin of an Irish student who was injured.

The first of the victims' families are expected to arrive in the US in the next few hours.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan confirmed earlier that all the families bereaved in the tragedy have been contacted, while UCD President Andrew Deeks released a statement on behalf of the university, where some of those who lost their lives were students.

It is "heart-breaking to imagine that such a tragedy would strike these wonderful students when their lives are opening up to discover the world," he said.

Several hours after the incident it was confirmed a sixth person had died in hospital following the collapse, which occurred during a 21st birthday party attended by Irish J1 students.

A number of the casualties graduated from schools in the Foxrock and Rathmines areas in 2012. 

St Mary's Past Pupil Union have expressed sympathies via social media to 2012 graduates from the Rathmines school involved in the tragedy. 

The tragedy happened near the University of California in Berkeley in the early hours of this morning, local time.

Mayor of Berkeley Tom Bates says the accident was a shocking event:

Officer Jennifer Coats, of the Berkeley Police Department, said many of the injured have critical, life-threatening injuries.

She said officers were alerted shortly after 1am and found the balcony on the fourth floor of an apartment building on Kittredge Street had collapsed.

Four of the students died at the scene.

Pictures reveal the balcony appears to have broken off from the building and partly landed on the balcony below it, as well as in the street.

This witness was passing by and took some of those who needed treatment to hospital.

A fourth floor balcony rests on the balcony below after collapsing at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley | Image: Noah Berger / AP/Press Association Images

The area around the building has been cordoned off.

The building, which was completed in 2006, has apartments on the upper floor and retail shops on the ground floor.

City authorities have ordered the property owner to perform a structural assessment of the remaining balconies within 48 hours. 

Relatives of the dead and injured have been in touch with at least three hospitals in the state which have responded to the emergency.

Stephanie Chuang is a reporter with NBC. She told Newstalk Lunchtime it is suggested the balcony was overloaded.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke has announced a Book of Condolence will be opened at the Mansion House on Thursday:

"I am opening a Book of Condolence to allow the people of Dublin to express their sympathies to the families and friends of those who died in this terrible tragedy."

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) says it is shocked and deeply saddened at the news.

Laura Harmon, USI President, said: ''The thoughts and sympathies of the whole student movement in Ireland are today with the families and friends of those young people caught up in this terrible event. We are anxiously awaiting further information from the authorities.''

The Irish Consul-General in San Francisco is in close contact with the authorities, and will be providing assistance to those on the ground.

Anyone with concerns about friends or family in the region, should call the Emergency Consular Response Team on +353-1-418-0200.

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