BERKLEY (KCBS) — The fifth floor Berkeley apartment balcony that gave way, killing six and injuring seven others, had passed an inspection less than a year ago.
New documents released by the city show the private inspector, hired by the building’s owners, called the balcony supports “good”, but it’s not clear how thorough that inspection really was. City engineers blame dry rot for the balcony’s collapse and it’s not clear the building’s managers were up to date with mandatory annual safety checks.
The private inspection, done in August of last year mentions broken window seals and floor cracks which need repair. The report was done for the management company.
A subsequent safety check done in the fall, specifically at Apartment 405 where the balcony fell, found a missing carbon monoxide detector and a malfunctioning smoke detector, but that’s all.
Greystar, which manages the Library Gardens complex, is in the process of finishing complete apartment inspections. Meanwhile, Berkeley is proposing tougher rules on balcony checks, but the mayor says increasing the number of mandated city inspections isn’t feasible given budget constraints.
Bay Area News Group reports Segue released a statement, their largest to date since the accident, where they say they’ve filed for a restraining order against the Alameda County District Attorney’s office.
D.A. Nancy O’Malley’s office had already announced they would open a criminal investigation into the fatal collapse. The construction company says the restraining order is to prevent investigators from testing the evidence without representatives from their company present.