Governor Jerry Brown signed a new legislation that seeks to prevent new tragedies inspired by last year’s Berkley balcony collapse disaster. The governor asks the state to identify the issue of inferior construction.
On the morning of 16 January 2015, a fifth-floor balcony located at the Library Gardens apartment complex located on Kittredge Street collapsed with no warning, brutally killing Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Niccolai Schuster, Eoghan Culligan, and Lorcán Miller, all 21 and from Ireland, and Ashley Donohoe, 22. Burke and Donohoe were cousins
“This bill is an important step toward preventing another tragedy,”
Brown declared in a press release.
The new law is expected to take effect in 1st of January 2017. It is considered to be a new step in the process of avoiding these types of tragedy, as they become more frequent. Even if the constructors know about the issues of the building, some of them decide to continue the construction, without caring if a tragedy will occur in the future.
Officials who inspected the site of the tragedy later found the cantilevered joists of the balcony completely shorn off about 16 to 20 inches from the exterior building face. The deck joist ends protruding from the exterior wall were severely dry-rotted, as a subsequent city report told later.
“It is my fervent hope that this measure brings at least some comfort to the families of the young people killed when this balcony collapsed. Perhaps knowing that this law will help prevent similar tragedies for other families will ease their pain.”
But not all officials believe this can be a solution. Carrie Olson, former member of Berkeley’s Design Review Committee declared the bill does little to prevent another similar tragedy.
“Yes, construction companies do shoddy work and cut corners. But isn’t that why we have inspections?”
Olson declared in an email on Thursday.
Joe McHugh, minister of state for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade traveled from Dublin to attend the signing and declared in an interview:
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to all those involved in the signing of this very important bill, which is aimed at ensuring more robust building standards to ensure that the tragic balcony collapse which occurred last year will never happen again.”
Do you believe this legislation will prevent future tragedies? What’s your opinion regarding the subject? Let us know!
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