6 dead, 7 critically hurt in Berkeley balcony collapse

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BERKELEY, Calif. — An apartment balcony near the University of California’s Berkeley campus collapsed early Tuesday, killing six of the 13 people who fell from the fourth-floor structure, the city’s police said.

At least five of the people who died in the collapse at the Library Gardens Apartments were Irish citizens and were “for the most part students,” Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said in a radio interview in his country Tuesday.

At least seven others were taken to hospitals with serious injuries after the balcony gave way at about 12:40 a.m., Berkeley police Officer Byron White told CNN.

At 8:45 a.m., coroner’s office confirmed a sixth person had died.

Jennifer Coats, a Berkeley police spokeswoman, said it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the balcony to collapse.

California authorities have contacted some of the families in Ireland about the collapse, Flanagan said.

“My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the deceased and those who have been injured in this appalling accident,” Flanagan said in a statement released by his office. He said his department would provide consular assistance to the Irish citizens involved.

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