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

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 ( ) 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.