Published on 17 Jun 2015 Sections ,

Balcony collapse: Irish flags at half mast

Flags are flying at half mast on government buildings in Ireland as a mark of respect for six students who were killed after a balcony they were on collapsed in Berkeley, California.

Six students were killed after a balcony they were on collapsed in California

The Irish parliament also held a minute’s silence in memory of the six students who died early on Tuesday morning.

The five students from Ireland, and one from California, were killed as the balcony they were on gave way, sending them plunging from the fourth floor of the building.

Eimear Walsh, Lorcan Miller, Niccolai Schuster, Olivia Burke and Eoghan Culligan, along with Ashley Donohoe who was Irish-American, all had been attending a 21st birthday party in the university city of Berkeley. Seven people are still in hospital in California; some of them are critically ill.

An Irish government minister has travelled to the US to offer support to the families of the students who died and books of condolence have been opened in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

Police had received calls about noise from the birthday party about 45 minutes before the accident but they had to divert officers to reports of a shooting elsewhere in the city.

The cause of the accident is being investigated and engineering crews are examining the broken wooden beams which held up the balcony. Investigators are also looking into whether the balcony may have been overloaded with 13 people on it.

An Irish government minister has travelled to the US to offer support to the families of the students who died

An Irish government minister has travelled to the US to offer support to the families of the students who died and books of condolence have been opened in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

Police had received calls about noise from the birthday party about 45 minutes before the accident but they had to divert officers to reports of a shooting elsewhere in the city.

The cause of the accident is being investigated and engineering crews are examining the broken wooden beams which held up the balcony. Investigators are also looking into whether the balcony may have been overloaded with 13 people on it.