5 IRISH STUDENTS KILLED IN CALIFORNIA BALCONY COLLAPSE
Five Irish students have died after a balcony collapsed in Berkeley, California.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, says up to nine other Irish students are seriously injured.
The tragedy occurred shortly before 1am local time, 9am in Ireland, when a fourth-floor balcony of an apartment building collapsed.
An emergency response line has been opened – anyone with concerns about friends or family in the region, should call 01- 418 0200.
Minister Flanagan says the students, who are in the United States on J1 visas, were celebrating a 21st birthday party.
President Michael D Higgins has issued a statement offering his condolences on what he called the “terrible loss of life”.
The President said his heart goes out to the families and loved ones of all those involved.
The Union of Students in Ireland has also expressed it’s shock at the news.
While the US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley says everyone at the US Embassy is ready to do whatever they can to help the Department of Foreign Affairs.