Final survivor of the Berkeley balcony collapse returns home

Final survivor of the Berkeley balcony collapse returns home

Kelly O’Brien

The final survivor of the Berkeley balcony collapse is officially on her way home to Ireland, it has been confirmed.

Hannah Waters, a Dublin City University student from Castleknock, Co Dublin, was seriously injured in the US this summer when a fourth-floor balcony peeled off a building in Berkeley, California, throwing those standing on it to the ground below.

The incident killed six of Hannah’s friends and injured six others. Those who lost their lives were Niccolai Schuster, Eoghan Culligan, Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Eimear Walsh and Lorcan Miller.

[timgHannahWatersSep15_large.jpg[/timg]

The students had been in the US on J1 visas and were attending a friend’s 21st birthday party when the incident occurred.

Today, the Irish Consulate in San Francisco confirmed Hannah was finally on her way home.

The office posted a picture on Twitter showing the 21-year-old student’s plane taking off, accompanied with the words “the last of our students heads home. Our hearts caught off guard and blown open. Godspeed.”

Hannah is the final student of the seven injured in the Berkeley collapse to return home. Sean Fahey was the first to return, shortly after the incident, followed by Conor Flynn.

Jack Halpin and Niall Murray followed, while Aoife Beary and Clodagh Cogley also returned home in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, a memorial was held in University College Dublin’s O’Reilly Hall for those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Hundreds of students attended the event, along with members of the families of Niccolai Schuster, Eimear Walsh and Lorcán Miller, who received bouquets of flowers and copies of a book of condolences signed by thousands of people.

In memory of those who lost their lives, UCD opened a walled rose garden on the grounds beside Belfield House and has installed a memorial bench to the victims within it.

The space, a tranquil setting in the heart of a busy campus, will be a place of contemplation and will be open to anyone who wishes to visit.

Meanwhile, an online fund set up to help the victims and their families has raised more than a quarter of a million euro.

To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/j1tragedyfund.


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