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California to study balcony safety after fatal Berkeley fall

Associated Press Associated Press 15/09/2016
FILE- In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015 file photo, a worker measures near the remaining wood of an apartment building balcony that collapsed, killing six college students and injuring several others in Berkeley, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation, SB465, by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, that creates a working group to recommend ways to construct better balconies and whether the state should collect information on construction malpractice, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015 file photo, a worker measures near the remaining wood of an apartment building balcony that collapsed, killing six college students and injuring several others in Berkeley, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation, SB465, by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, that creates a working group to recommend ways to construct better balconies and whether the state should collect information on construction malpractice, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is moving to study state balcony standards after a fatal collapse in Berkeley sent shock and horror across the globe last year.

Legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Thursday creates a working group to recommend ways to construct better balconies and whether the state should collect information on construction malpractice. It also requires licensed contractors to report industry-related crimes.

Thirteen people were on a fifth-floor balcony when it fell in June 2015. Six were killed, most of them Irish students studying abroad.

City officials later found the structure's wooden support beams had rotted.

Survivors and victims' families said in support of SB465 the collapse could have been avoided if a state licensing board had known of the builder's previous defect settlements.

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