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Balcony collapse caused by 'water-damaged wood'

An investigation into the cause of a balcony collapsing in California killing six Irish students has found it may have been caused by 'water-damaged wood'.

According the to Associated Press, Mayor Tom Bates said that so far the investigation points to water damage being the possible cause.

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New York Times 'sorry' for balcony deaths coverage

The New York Times has apologised for an "insenitive" article relating to the deaths of six students in a balcony collapse in California, after Ireland's equality minister branded the coverage a "disgrace".

Workmen examine the damage at the scene of the balcony collapse in Berkeley, California Credit: Reuters

The paper followed up its initial reporting on the deaths of the 21 and 22-year-olds - five of them Irish and one Irish-American - with an opinion piece referencing the "drunken partying" of Irish students.

It claimed that an Irish-American exchange programme was an "embarrassment" to Ireland and suggested that the fatal balcony collapse had cast a shadow over the programme.

Ireland’s junior minister for new communities, culture and equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, called the article a "disgrace" and demanded an apology.

In an official statement issued today, the newspaper conceded that it had used language that "could be interpreted as insensitive".

"It was never our intention to blame the victims and we apologise if the piece left that impression," it added.

Mr Ó Ríordáin has described the apology as "pathetic" in a post on Twitter.

The six students were standing on the fourth-floor balcony at an apartment in Berkeley on Tuesday when the structure collapsed.


Tributes to 'talented but modest' balcony collapse victim

The former headmaster of one of the five Irish students who died when a fourth-floor balcony collapsed during a party in California has paid tribute to the "incredibly talented but modest" young man.

Lorcán Miller was killed along with four others from Dublin and an American student.

Lorcán Miller Credit: Facebook

Peter Fraser, the headmaster at St Andrew's College in Booterstown, south Dublin, described Lorcán - a keen hockey player, choir member and a key part of the school's Model United Nations - as a "role model".

The one thing speaking to colleagues this morning was the fact that he was positive, engaging, decent boy who was incredibly talented, but normal, modest and balanced about it all. He was hugely popular.

He would have been very well known by almost everyone in the college, and in such a big school that's quite an achievement. He had a rounded talent. He was very keen on issues of social awareness and social conscience.

There's no question, he would have been one of your school's role models.

– Peter Fraser, St Andrew's College

Meanwhile, St Mary's College in Rathmines, Dublin, held prayers for former students Niccolai Schuster and Eoghan Culligan, who left for college in 2012.

Students killed in balcony collapse named

Six students killed in a balcony collapse in California have been named by US authorities.

Top L-R: Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, and Ashley Donohoe. Bottom L-R: Lorcan Miller, Niccolai Schuster, and Eoghan Culligan

Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller, and Eimear Walsh, all aged 21 and from Ireland, died in the tragedy in Berkeley yesterday.

Ashley Donohoe, 22, an Irish-American from Rohnert Park in California who was related to Miss Burke, was also killed.

Their families are expected to arrive in Berkeley later today.

Balcony deaths 'heartbreaking' for Irish community

The shock of the balcony collapse which killed six Irish students have been felt through the Irish community in California locals have said.

One woman who left flowers at the scene of the accident said it was: "an absolute nightmare when we saw it. It's just heartbreaking to think that - we were such a close community at home. And we were such a close community here when we come out together."


Few in irish community 'untouched' by balcony tragedy

An Irish official has said that there are questions to be answered about the balcony collapse in Berkley, California, which left six Irish students dead.

However Philip Grant, Consul General of Ireland to the Western US told a press conference that the main priority was helping the families of those involved.

He told reporters the incident had left few untouched as the Irish community was so tight knit.

We're a very close, tight-knit group. Ireland is a small country, and when you have the numbers that we had here today, very few of us have been left untouched by this tragedy.

There are very much questions that we would like to know the answer to, but right at the moment, what we are concentrated on is basically finding out how everybody is, making sure that all those who need to know how their loved ones are are informed, and helping and assisting the families and the friends who are here.

– Philip Grant, Consul General of Ireland to the Western US

Families of Irish students killed in balcony collapse in US

Families of Irish students killed in balcony collapse in US Credit: NBC News

Families of some of the Irish students who died in a balcony collapse at a 21st birthday party have arrived in the US. The six dead - five from Ireland and one who was living in California - were killed when they plunged from a fourth floor apartment in the city of Berkeley.

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