Irish student injured in balcony collapse emerges from coma

The 21-year-old Irish woman who was celebrating her birthday with a group of friends when a balcony collapsed in Berkeley, California, killing six people and injuring seven others, has come out of her coma and is no longer in critical condition.

Aoife Beary remains in the intensive care unit at Stanford with a head injury, however, and has a long road to recovery, Ireland’s Consul General Philip Grant said Thursday.

Wooden support beams rotted from water damage were found following the June 16 balcony collapse at an apartment complex.

One of the injured men has returned to Ireland. Another was released from the hospital and is awaiting medical clearance to return home. The others remain in Bay Area hospitals undergoing rehabilitation and treatments for broken bones, collapsed lungs and other injuries.

Killed were Ashley Donohoe, 22, of Rohnert Park, California, and Ireland’s Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller and Eimear Walsh, all 21. The Irish students attended various colleges in Dublin and were visiting for the summer.

Prosecutors opened a criminal probe into the collapse late last month.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has declined to discuss any possible target of her investigation.

Meanwhile, Berkeley city leaders next week are slated to consider a package of urgent safety ordinances in response to collapse.

One member of the City Council has proposed that all balconies in new developments have steel reinforcements.

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