California regulators cite 5 firms in fatal Berkeley balcony collapse

A worker measures near the remaining wood from an apartment building balcony that collapsed in Berkeley, Calif., Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The balcony broke loose from the building during a 21st birthday party early Tuesday, killing several people and seriously injuring others. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California licensing board says five companies involved in the construction of a Berkeley apartment building where six college students were killed in a balcony collapse did inferior work that led to the accident.

The firms implicated by the California State Contractor’s Licensing Board on Friday include the general contractor on the Library Gardens project, the subcontractors that did framing, plastering and waterproofing work, and a supplier of ventilation equipment.

Board Enforcement Chief Dave Fogt says the balcony was not built to trade standards, allowing water to seep in and rot the wooden beams that supported it.

One of the contractors, Etter & Sons, also “(failed) to cooperate with (the) investigation,” according to the Contractors State License Board.

An administrative hearing will be held to determine if the companies should have their licenses revoked.

Five of the students killed were Irish citizens working in California for the summer.

The case is now being sent to the Attorney General’s office for review.

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