Sixth death confirmed in California balcony tragedy as first victim is named

Sixth death confirmed in California balcony tragedy as first victim is named

A SIXTH Irish student has been confirmed dead this afternoon by local authorities in California following the Berkeley balcony tragedy.

The groups of friends were attending a 21st birthday party when the balcony they were socialising on collapsed  beneath them, also leaving seven others with serious injuries.

The first victim of the tragedy has been named as Niccolai Schuster from Dublin.

Mr Schuster was a past pupil of St Mary’s College in Rathmines, south of Dublin City. The school contacted pupils' parents this afternoon, asking them to pray for the tragic student and his family.

The Irish Consulate in California said that between 12 and 14 people were on the balcony at the time of its collapse – all aged between 20 and 22.

The injured were taken to local hospitals.

Currently three women and three men, all Irish citizens, have died following the incident.

Local reports suggest that the fourth floor balcony flipped over on to the one beneath, with a forty foot drop beneath it. All other balconies in the complex have been cordoned off by police, as a safety assessment is carried out.

Locals have been leaving flowers at the building where the balcony collapsed, with one card reading “We are so very sorry to hear about your loss of your friends. It has been lovely to see you all around town.”

Meanwhile, Dublin’s Lord Mayor Christy Burke has confirmed that a book of condolences for the victims of the balcony collapse will be opened at Mansion House on Thursday, June 18 from 10am.

Update June 17, 8.35am: A correction has been made to the spelling of Mr Schuster's name. A previous version of this article read 'Nicholas'.