How awful. Six students at Berkeley University — five Irish students and one American — were tragically killed when an apartment balcony collapsed during a big 21st birthday party on June 16.
What started out as a vivacious 21st birthday party in an apartment near Berkeley University, quickly turned into a tragedy that cost the lives of six students. Irish students Olivia Burke, 21, Eoghan Culligan, 21, Niccolai Schuster, 21, Lorcan Miller, 21, and Eimear Walsh and American student Ashley Donohoe, 22, were identified as victims killed from the balcony collapsing. Meanwhile, other students at the party are suffering life-threatening injuries after the scary accident.
The fourth floor balcony collapsed around 12:40am in the Library Gardens Apartments, two blocks away from University of California, Berkeley. A neighbor reportedly called the police about the large apartment party right before the collapse, according to the Daily Mail. There were reportedly 12-14 people on the 5ft by 10ft balcony when it detached from the wall and completely flipped over. By the time police arrived around 1am, the balcony had completely collapsed.
The Irish students from South Dublin were visiting Berkeley on a J1 working visa program. Four of the students were pronounced dead at the scene while the other two died in the hospital. In addition to the sad deaths, there were severe injuries to other partygoers as well. Seven other Irish students were said to be injured and some are suffering critical injuries. So sad.
Berkeley resident, Gerald Robinson, reportedly drove an injured man and woman to the hospital after they flagged him down on the street covered in blood.
“They were distraught. They were hanging on each other for comfort,” Gerald told the San Francisco Chronicle. “They were having a party — suddenly it went down. It came down really fast and chucked everybody off.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the deceased and injured students’ family and friends during this difficult time.
— Julianne Ishler