Berkeley honors balcony collapse victims with memorial plaque

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Berkeley is remembering a tragic incident from 2015 in permanent way.

A new plaque now honors six students killed in the Berkeley balcony collapse in June, 2015. The memorial is located in Berkeley's MLK Jr. Civic Center Park, not far from the building where it happened on Kittredge St.

Five of the students were from Ireland, one from Rohnert Park.

RELATED: Deadly Berkeley balcony collapse survivor speaks out

"We in Ireland feel a great connection with this tragedy and the six people that were just beginning their lives, said Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to the U.S.

Victim's relatives laid flowers at the base of the plaque and at two nearby strawberry trees which honor the students.

"Everyone has been phenomenal getting everything done supporting us I don't know how we would've got through it," said Amanda Donohoe, sister of victim Ashley Donohoe.

The ABC7 I-Team revealed the failure of the balcony at the Library Gardens was the result of water damage. Details from lawsuits allege builders cut corners to save money and failed to waterproof the wooden structure for several months during a wet winter.

RELATED: Victims of Berkeley balcony collapse reach a settlement

The mayor of Berkeley says the tragedy has brought about tougher, safer building standards statewide.

"The emergency legislation we passed has led to a statewide movement to strengthen balcony and staircase building standards," said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin.
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