The district attorney for Berkeley, CA, said Thursday she has opened a criminal investigation into the collapse of an apartment balcony that killed six young adults last week.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley did not name the target of the investigation, which could lead to manslaughter charges -- or it could find no criminal negligence.
Earlier this week, city investigators said rotted wood beams contributed to the collapse.
Segue Construction, the contractor that built the apartment complex, said it is cooperating with the investigation. That company recently paid $6.5 million to settle two lawsuits involving balconies with dry rot at other apartment buildings.
The last criminal prosecution involving a balcony collapse in California was 20 years ago, local media outlets have reported. The manslaughter charge was dismissed and the property owner paid $13.5 million to settle the case that killed 1 and injured 14 others.