The nurse that fell victim to the prank call about the Duchess of Cambridge has found dead at an address in central London.
Jacintha Saldanha had worked at the hospital for four years and was married with two children. According to the BBC she answered the phone call to the radio DJ’s but was not the one who gave out the information about the Duchess’ condition.
Police were called at 09:35 this morning to reports of a woman found unconscious at an address in Weymouth Street. LAS attended and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The exact cause of death remained unclear. However, the Daily Mail is reporting that “one source indicated that the woman appeared to have killed herself.”
Scotland Yard said: ”Inquiries continue to establish the circumstances of the incident.The death is being treated as unexplained.”
John Lofthouse, Chief Executive at King Edward VII’s Hospital, said: “It is with great sadness we confirm the death of one of our members of our nursing staff. She was an excellent nurse, well respected and popular with all of her colleagues. Jacintha was the victim to the prank call and the hospital was supporting her at this time.”
He added: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends. Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague.”
See the statement here: Lofthouse speech
Lord Glenarthur, governor and trustee of the King Edward VII hospital, said: “This is a tragic event. She will be greatly missed.”
The Royal College of Nursing said: “It is deeply saddening that a simple human error due to a cruel hoax could lead to the death of a dedicated member of the nursing profession.”
The hospital confirmed that Saldanha did take the hoax call from an Australian radio station earlier this week. The phone call was from two Australian radio presenters and, believing she was speaking with the Queen, passed it to a colleague who revealed private information about the Duchess’ condition.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are “deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Salanha.”
Sydney radio station 2Day FM previously “sincerely” apologised for the hoax and are preparing a statement now, however they are still trailing the advert to the hoax on their morning radio show.
The two DJ’s who made the hoax – Michael Christian and Mel Greig – have disabled their Twitter accounts and the radio station facebook page has turned off comments after being bombarded with 1000 abusive comments.
It is not the first time the radio station has got into trouble with the The Australian Communications and Media Authority for its broadcasts. In 2009 a 14-year-old girl was pushed into revealing she had been raped while attached to a lie detector live on air.
Angry Twitter users called for Greig and Christian to lose their jobs over the incident.
One user, Alison Hassell, told Greig: “If you have any kind of conscience or morals….. Right about now you should be typing your resignation.”
Scott Ashworth tweeted: “You scumbag, hope you get what’s coming to you!”, while another user, Michael Hird, wrote: “I hope you’re happy now.. The receptionist you rang has COMMITTED SUICIDE! You have blood on your hands now!”
Greig also received what appeared to be threats on the social networking site.
Costas Loizou swore at the presenter and ended his message: “I might start calling your mum and leaving messages..in fact expect one on xmas day….”
Other users directed abuse at her co-presenter Christian. Justine Daniel told him the hoax was a “sick joke” and added: “Hope you’re banished from being on air forever.”
Peter Timmins wrote: “There are no words to describe the disgust that everyone else is feeling about the prank you thought so funny.”
Sinead Gavaghan called him a “vile, stupid creature” while Chris Campbell claimed: “You should be fired and the station shut down.”
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