Six students who died tragically in balcony collapse have been named by Sheriff’s department
The six students who died tragically when a balcony collapsed earlier today have been named by the Berkeley Sherrif’s department.
Ashley Donohoe (22), Olivia Burke (21), Eoin Culligan (21), Niccolai Schuster (21), Lorcan Miller (21), Eimear Walsh (21) were named as the deceased in a press conference earlier this evening.
All six, with the exception of Ashley Donohoe, were reported as being from Ireland.
Earlier today Minister for Foreign Affairs Charley Flanagan confirmed that those killed in the tragic accident were Irish.
"It is with great sadness that I confirm that a number of young Irish citizens have lost their lives, while a number of others have been seriously injured following the collapse of a balcony in Berkeley, California, earlier today."
"My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the deceased and those who have been injured in this appalling accident," said Mr Flanagan.
"My department in Dublin stands ready to provide all possible consular assistance to the Irish citizens affected by this tragedy."
It is reported the balcony fell 40 feet on to a footpath from the top of a four-storey building shortly after midnight local time. It is also being reported that a party was taking place in the apartment.
Audio: 911 dispatch for the balcony collapse in California released HERE
Reports suggest there was a 21st birthday party going on at the time of the accident and the fatalities had only recently arrived on J1 Visas.
Irish Victims were celebrating a 21st birthday party when the apartment balcony collapsed in Berkeley. Victims here on work visa for summer.— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) June 16, 2015
The luxury building, which is reported to be just 10 years old, is home to mostly Berkeley students.
Anyone with concerns about friends or family in the Berkley region, should call the Emergency Consular Response Team on +353 1 418 0200— IrishForeignMinistry (@dfatirl) June 16, 2015
Ireland's President Michael D Higgins sent a message of condolence while on a state visit to Italy.
"I have heard with the greatest sadness of the terrible loss of life of young Irish people and the critical injury of others in Berkeley, California, today," he said.
"My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of all those involved. I have been informed of the consular assistance being provided to assist all of the families involved and I have asked to be kept informed as further details emerge."
A number of others also suffered serious injuries.
Charlie Flanagan released the following statement this evening :
“Today is an horrific day for those who have lost loved ones in tragic circumstances in San Francisco and for all those affected. In my Department and in our Consulate in San Francisco, the students and their families have been at the centre of our thoughts and actions today.
“We have taken a number of practical steps to assist. Our Consulate in San Francisco and the Department’s Emergency Consular Response Team in Dublin continue to work with the local authorities to identify and make contact with the families of all the Irish students involved in this morning’s tragic incident in Berkley.
“The identities of the deceased Irish citizens are in the process of being officially confirmed. Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with the families and friends of the deceased at this most difficult time.
“We are also working with the authorities across several hospitals to confirm the extent of the injuries suffered by our citizens involved, and to relay this information to families as soon as possible.
“Our Consul General in San Francisco is in close contact with Irish community organisations on the ground, and I welcome their offers of assistance and expression of solidarity at this difficult time.
“My thoughts are also with the many young students, who escaped injury but will be deeply shocked at the events. I would like to pay tribute to those who assisted at the scene and who have been working with the local authorities. These will be difficult days for everyone who has experienced this traumatic event, but the students are not on their own and led by our Consulate in San Francisco all assistance possible will be extended to them.
“Our Consular Emergency Response line received an unprecedented volume of calls this afternoon. This demonstrates that this is an incident that has touched many Irish families – not just those whose sons and daughters were actually there, but all families who have a loved one travelling this summer.
“I would again urge Irish students in the San Francisco area who have not yet been in touch with their families in Ireland to please do so. To those families who have contacted the Department, I would ask that they update us if they have heard from their loved one.
“Anyone with concerns about friends or family in the region, should call the Emergency Consular Response Team on +353 1 418 0200.”