Outside the apartment where the balcony collapsed, flowers and photos and wreaths are stacked, and shocked Berkeley residents have been coming to pay their respects.

The building is cordoned off while forensic workers investigate and scrub the street below the collapsed balcony.

One woman who used to live in the building told the BBC she thought there should be a criminal investigation of the city’s Planning Commission.

But the police chief says so far there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Another student, Mark Neville, said: “I walked out and I saw rubble on the street and a bunch of Irish students crying.”

Enda Kenny, the Irish Prime Minister, said that police had told him there were 13 people on the balcony when it collapsed.

Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said that four of the victims died at the scene and another died in hospital.