Investigators confirm balcony collapse was due to "severe" dry rot

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
The initial report found the joist ends appeared to be "severely dry rotted"
The initial report found the joist ends appeared to be "severely dry rotted"

Investigators in the US have confirmed that the balcony at the centre of their probe collapsed because of dry rot.

The preliminary investigation being undertaken by the City of Berkeley has discovered the wooden beams which held the balcony together had deteriorated due to dry rot as a result of water damage. 

Berkeley's Building and Safety Division issued a summary today of initial findings from the investigation of the fatal balcony failure a week ago.

Eight timber beams which supported the fourth floor balcony at Library Gardens apartment complex were found to have greatly weakened due to the dry rot. The initial report found the joist ends appeared to be "severely dry rotted". 

The full report, however, will not be complete for several months. 

The City of Berkeley has confirmed that, in light of the findings and the scale of the tragedy, new regulations will come into force, the Irish Independent said. 

"Based on their observations, City staff will recommend that the City Council adopt new and modified regulations to enhance the safety of all current and future buildings in Berkeley," an official said.

"The changes would make new balconies and other sealed areas exposed to weather subject to stricter requirements on materials, inspection and ventilation. In addition, the proposed regulations would institute regular maintenance inspections for all such spaces for future buildings as well as those units already built."

The investigation surrounding the balcony collapse has now focused on the company behind the construction of the building, Segue Construction Inc., who are said to be cooperating with investigators. 

Earlier today, two victims of the tragedy were laid to rest in Dublin. 

Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay tribute to Eimear Walsh and Eoghan Culligan, two of the victims of last week's incident. 

Two more of those killed in the tragedy, Olivia Burke and Niccolai Schuster, will have funerals tomorrow in Foxrock and Rathgar while Lorcán Miller will be laid to rest on Thursday.