While the railing remained intact, witnesses said there was a gaping hole in the flooring where the boards collapsed at the rental property.
A total of 28 people fell, including Ms Taylor and Ms Kajoba who suffered fatal injuries.
“According to various witness accounts, at this time, Ms Taylor and Ms Kajoba were sitting on the outdoor lounge chairs some two metres from the family room wall towards the centre of the balcony. As people were slowly getting themselves in position for the photo, without warning, a section of the timber floor of the balcony collapsed,” Ms Spanos said.
Investigators later found the balcony, which was attached to the kitchen and family room area of the home, contained many heavy items including a refrigerator filled with food and alcohol, an 82-kilogram barbecue with gas cylinder, a pizza oven, eskies, a trestle table, outdoor lounge and armchairs.
Lily Boskovski from Slater and Gordon Lawyers, which is representing several people injured in the balcony collapse, said the firm was currently pursuing compensation over the injuries suffered.
“What happened here is an absolute tragedy. It highlights how important building safety standards are and identifies why proper building inspections are necessary,” she said.
“It also identifies the need for structures to be properly maintained and inspected beyond when they’re first signed off to make sure they continue to be safe.”
State building surveyor Andrew Cialini said the Victorian Building Authority was now working through the recommendations made to see what changes can be made to improve safety.
“This was a tragic incident, and our thoughts are with the families of all of those involved,” Mr Cialini said.
The authority said current regulations called for all completed framework including balconies to be inspected by a relevant building surveyor where a building permit has been issued.
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