Five Irish students have died and nine others injured when a balcony collapsed at a party in Berkeley near San Francisco in the US, the Irish government said on Tuesday.
Five students die as balcony collapses
Five Irish students died and nine other were injured when a balcony collapsed at a party in San Francisco, USA
The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Charlie Flanagan, said in a statement in Washington that “I understand from both the police and indeed the hospital that five Irish citizens have lost their lives.
“There are a number of other students in the apartment, at what I understand to have been a 21st birthday party. The injured students are being treated at a nearby hospital,” Flanagan said.
Flanagan said he understood that eight or nine people were injured in the collapse and all of them were Irish students.
“It is an appalling tragedy, an appalling loss of life for young people whose hopes and dreams of the future have suddenly and without notice been shattered,” he said.
News reports said that hospitals at Berkeley and nearby Oakland and Walnut Creek were treating the injured, while several fire crews responded to the collapse.
The foreign ministry said the Irish consul in San Francisco was in close contact with U.S. authorities.
All of the students were reportedly travelling in the US under non-immigrant visas issued to participants in exchange programmes.
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