Girardi | Keese

The Balcony Collapse in Berkeley Was Preventable

In the weeks following the Berkeley balcony collapse, Aoife Beary was released from the high dependency unit and began intensive rehab six days per week, according to Irish Central staff writers, at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Make no mistake: The fact that Ms. Beary will survive is great news. But there's also a question as to the extent of her injuries. A quick glance at the Irish Central article, and you might rush to the false conclusion that because Ms. Beary was released that she's well on her way to recovery.

While we all hope that she is, the fact that she is going through intensive rehab six days out of every week likely means that her ordeal is far from over. Nor is it close to being over for those families who lost a loved one, who can never regain what they lost.

What happened in Berkeley makes us cringe.

As Americans, we are ashamed. We're ashamed, not because we don't expect terrible things to happen in America because it's America, but because what happened to Aoife Beary and her fellow students while they were in the U.S. was preventable.

It should not have happened.

Had the building codes been up to par, and the building itself properly maintained, the balcony would not have collapsed, forever marring what otherwise would have been a pleasant experience for these young Irish students who came to visit and study here in the U.S.

(Image credit: The balconies of an apartment block in the Docklands, London -

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