Five Irish students, Rohnert Park woman die in Berkeley balcony collapse

According to the Irish Times, Donohoe and Burke were cousins.

A resident at the complex tells KTVU he called police to make a noise complaint about an hour before the balcony collapsed. Berkeley Police spokesman Byron White confirmed to the Associated Press that they had received the complaint, but had not yet responded to the complex before the collapse.

Two Irish students asleep in the building said they heard a bang as a balcony collapsed.

"I walked out and I saw rubble on the street and a bunch of Irish students crying," said Mark Neville, who has been in the U.S. for three weeks under the J-1 visa program.

"I just heard a bang and a lot of shouting," added Dan Sullivan.

High school student Jason Biswas' family live nearby and was awakened by the noise.

"They thought there was an earthquake, but then we looked out the window and saw seven or eight people on the ground," the 16-year-old said. "There were piles of blood everywhere."

When first responders arrived to the scene they found that the fourth floor balcony, estimated to have been 5 feet by 10 feet, separated completely from the building and landed on a third floor balcony.

Of the six killed, law enforcement officials say three were female and one was a male. They have not released the gender of the other two.

Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan told reporters in Dublin that five of those killed were Irish students in the U.S. on temporary visas. Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said it was attempting to contact families of the victims and could not give details of their identities.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins said in a statement that he had "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. My heart goes out to the families and loved one's of all those involved."

Gerald Robinson was coming out of a nearby movie theater right when the balcony collapsed and said he gave some of the victim's friends rides to highland hospital and most of them appeared to be college age. He spoke to KTVU about the chaos at the hospital.

"They're all in the emergency room comforting each other, and cell phones are going back and forth, they're trying to call people in other countries or are at least back home and nobody knows anything. One kid got really upset and had to be escorted out of the hospital because nobody was telling him anything and he said, ‘Why can't you help us? Why can't you help us?'" Robinson said.

The injured victims are scattered throughout Bay Area Hospitals. KTVU confirmed that at least two males were at John Muir in Walnut Creek, one of those patients was listed in critical condition and the other serious. Highland Hospital has two females one male being treated, but hospital officials did not list their condition. Four other patients, three males and one female are at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats says many of the injured are in critical condition with life-threatening injuries and one is undergoing brain surgery.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny says police told him there were 13 people on the balcony when it collapsed.

She adds that an investigation is underway with building inspectors to figure out what caused the collapse. Officials red-tagged the remaining balconies at the complex as of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday

According to the website the building was built in 2006 and has 176 units.

The building has apartments in the upper floors and retails shops at ground level.

Flanagan said the Irish consul general in San Francisco would be provided assistance to those affected.