A group of young Irish citizens are among the dead and injured from a fifth floor balcony in California, where they were reportedly celebrating a 21st birthday.
So far it is confirmed that five have died and eight more are injured by Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.
He said that there are hundreds of students at the nearby University of Berkeley, California as well as a large community in the surrounding San Francisco area.
“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 Berkley, California earlier today,” he said.
“My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the deceased and those who have been injured in this appalling accident. My Department in Dublin stands ready to provide all possible consular assistance to the Irish citizens affected by this tragedy.
“Our Consul General in San Francisco is in close contact with the authorities and will be providing assistance to those affected on the ground.
“It is too early to know the full extent of this dreadful accident but I have opened my Department’s Consular Crisis Centre and activated our emergency response line so we can provide assistance and guidance to the families of those affected and to others who have concerns.
Anyone with concerns about friends or family in the region, should call the Emergency Consular Response Team on +353 1 418 0200.”