Early this morning a fourth floor balcony collapsed at an apartment building near the University of California, Berkeley, killing five and injuring at least eight others. Some of those injured are reported to have life threatening injuries.
Police said five people died and eight others were wounded when a fourth-floor balcony collapsed early Tuesday in Berkeley, California.
Berkeley Police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats told NBC News the balcony fell to the sidewalk from the top of the four-story building shortly after midnight local time (3 a.m. ET). She said Berkeley Fire Department and city officials are on scene, adding that officials have secured the area around the collapse and have not evacuated the building.
The injured were being treated at area hospitals and authorities do not know what caused the collapse, Coats said.
Police received a call about the incident shortly before 1 a.m. PDT Tuesday, and when officers arrived they found that the balcony on the fourth floor of the building on Kittredge Street had disintegrated.
“We don’t know what happened. Officers on scene talking with people,” she said.
Many of the wounded may have severe, even life threatening injuries, and authorities say the number of injured may rise, but at least 13 were on the balcony when it gave way.
Ireland’s Foreign Ministry confirmed there were Irish citizens among the dead, although it has not yet offered their names.
The building was of fairly modern construction. TV footage from KGO and NBC Bay Area showed the balcony on the building’s fourth floor resting atop the balcony on the third floor directly below it.
Witnesses told local TV stations that there was a party in the unit where the collapse occurred. Authorities were still trying to determine how many people were on the balcony when it gave way.