Homicide

Alameda County District Attorney to lead criminal investigation into Berkeley balcony collapse

  • FILE- In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015 file photo, a worker measures near the remaining wood from an apartment building balcony that collapsed in Berkeley, Calif. The balcony broke loose from the building during a 21st birthday party early Tuesday, June 16, 2015, killing several people and seriously injuring others. Prosecutors in the San Francisco Bay Area say they will lead a criminal investigation into the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six college students. The development comes after building inspectors said the fifth-floor balcony that snapped off an apartment building was supported by wooden beams badly rotted by exposure to moisture. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

    FILE- In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015 file photo, a worker measures near the remaining wood from an apartment building balcony that collapsed in Berkeley, Calif. The balcony broke loose from the building during a 21st birthday party early Tuesday, June 16, 2015, killing several people and seriously injuring others. Prosecutors in the San Francisco Bay Area say they will lead a criminal investigation into the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six college students. The development comes after building inspectors said the fifth-floor balcony that snapped off an apartment building was supported by wooden beams badly rotted by exposure to moisture. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this June 18, 2015, file photo, a crew works on the remaining wood of an apartment building balcony that collapsed in Berkeley, Calif. A balcony broke loose from an apartment building during a 21st birthday party early Tuesday, June 16, 2015, killing several and seriously injuring several others. Prosecutors in the San Francisco Bay Area say they will lead a criminal investigation into the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six college students. The development comes after building inspectors said the fifth-floor balcony that snapped off an apartment building was supported by wooden beams badly rotted by exposure to moisture. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

    FILE - In this June 18, 2015, file photo, a crew works on the remaining wood of an apartment building balcony that collapsed in Berkeley, Calif. A balcony broke loose from an apartment building during a 21st birthday party early Tuesday, June 16, 2015, killing several and seriously injuring several others. Prosecutors in the San Francisco Bay Area say they will lead a criminal investigation into the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six college students. The development comes after building inspectors said the fifth-floor balcony that snapped off an apartment building was supported by wooden beams badly rotted by exposure to moisture. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015, file photo, Police tape blocks off a section of Kittredge Street in front the Library Gardens apartment building where balcony collapsed in Berkeley, Calif.  Prosecutors in the San Francisco Bay Area say they will lead a criminal investigation into the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six college students. The development comes after building inspectors said the fifth-floor balcony that snapped off an apartment building was supported by wooden beams badly rotted by exposure to moisture. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015, file photo, Police tape blocks off a section of Kittredge Street in front the Library Gardens apartment building where balcony collapsed in Berkeley, Calif. Prosecutors in the San Francisco Bay Area say they will lead a criminal investigation into the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six college students. The development comes after building inspectors said the fifth-floor balcony that snapped off an apartment building was supported by wooden beams badly rotted by exposure to moisture. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)  (The Associated Press)

Prosecutors in the San Francisco Bay Area say they will lead a criminal investigation into the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six college students.

The Alameda County district attorney's office tells The Oakland Tribune (http://bayareane.ws/1LEXKnX ) in a story Thursday that Berkeley police will help with the inquiry.

The development comes two days after building inspectors said the fifth-floor balcony that snapped off an apartment building was supported by wooden beams badly rotted by exposure to moisture.

Five of the students who died June 16 were from Ireland and working in the Bay Area for the summer. Seven others were seriously injured and remain hospitalized.

It's unclear whom the inquiry would target, but personal injury attorney Michael A. Kelly tells the newspaper that criminal charges could range from negligence or recklessness to manslaughter.