California Plans to Study Balcony Safety After Fatal Berkeley Fall

September 21, 2016

California is moving to study state balcony standards after a fatal collapse in Berkeley sent shock and horror across the globe last year.

Legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Thursday creates a working group to recommend ways to construct better balconies and whether the state should collect information on construction malpractice. It also requires licensed contractors to report industry-related crimes.

Thirteen people were on a fifth-floor balcony when it fell in June 2015. Six were killed, most of them Irish students studying abroad.

City officials later found the structure’s wooden support beams had rotted.

Survivors and victims’ families said in support of SB465 the collapse could have been avoided if a state licensing board had known of the builder’s previous defect settlements.

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