California balcony collapse kills at least 6 people

California balcony collapse kills at least 6 people
# 16 June 2015 22:27 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. A 21st-birthday party thrown by a group of visiting Irish college students turned tragic early Tuesday when the fourth-floor balcony they were crowded on collapsed with a sharp crack, spilling 13 people about 50 feet onto the pavement. Six people were killed and seven seriously injured, APA reports quoting Associated Press.

Police and fire and building officials were working to figure out why the roughly 5-by-10-foot concrete-floor balcony broke loose from the side of the stucco apartment building, situated just a couple of blocks from the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

High school student Jason Biswas' family nearby was awakened by the noise.

"They thought there was an earthquake, but then we looked out the window and saw seven or eight people on the ground," the 16-year-old said. "There were piles of blood everywhere."

Police had gotten a complaint about a loud party in the apartment about an hour before the accident but had not yet arrived when the balcony gave way just after 12:30 a.m., spokesman Byron White said. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said police told him 13 people were on the balcony.

At least five of the dead were Irish students on so-called J-1 visas that enable young people to work and travel in the U.S. over the summer, Ireland's foreign minister said.

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