Contractor Wants to Join Investigators in Berkeley Balcony Inspection

A general contractor who was in charge of constructing a balcony that collapsed in California and killed six people sought a court order Tuesday to be present when investigators examine the wreckage.

Segue Construction asked for the order several days after a prosecutor announced a criminal investigation was underway in the collapse that injured seven other people in Berkeley.

A hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

Segue said in its court filing that it's concerned evidence may have been damaged when officials removed the collapsed balcony and another one below it a few hours after the June 16 incident.

"We are now working with the office of the district attorney to ensure all applicable evidence is preserved,'' Segue spokesman Trevor Martin said.

The Alameda County district attorney has seized the balconies as evidence. The office didn't return a phone call and email seeking comment.

Berkeley city officials concluded last week that the balcony's wooden support beams were rotted by water damage. They didn't determine how the damage occurred.

On Monday, the city released documents showing an inspector had given the balconies at the apartment building a clean bill of health last year.

The unnamed, privately hired inspector checked that all balcony supports were in good condition. The Aug. 15, 2014, inspection also found that surfaces, rails and soffits were all in good shape as well.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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