Royals shocked by nurse's death

A prank call by an Australian radio show could have resulted in the tragic death of a nurse from the King Edward VII Hospital in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated.

Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found dead in a suspected suicide, just days after she was the victim of a hoax call from Sydney DJs pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles. The nurse was discovered unconscious near the hospital and attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.

The hospital issued a statement: "It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha. She was an excellent nurse and a well respected and popular member of staff with all her colleagues. We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time."

A St James's Palace spokesman made it clear that the royals had not blamed the hospital or any staff members for the hoax. "At no point did the palace complain to the hospital about the incident," he told The Sun. "On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times. It’s awful, absolutely awful."

CLICK HERE to watch "Aussie DJs prank call to pregnant Kate Middleton's hospital Video"

The presenters from Sydney radio station 2Day FM had apologised for the call, claiming they hadn’t expected to be put through, although they continued to feature the audio clip on the website for hours after news of the nurse’s death had broken.

Rhys Holleran, head of the Austereo network, seemed keen to establish that his station bore no legal responsibility, although the presenters were immediately taken off air. "We are very confident that we haven't done anything illegal," Holleran said. "We are satisfied that the procedures we have in place have been met. Our main concern at this point in time is that what has happened is deeply tragic and we are incredibly saddened and we are incredibly affected by that."

The broadcaster’s revenue will also be incredibly affected, as companies, including supermarket chain Coles and phone company Telstra, withdrew their advertising from the station, which is in danger of becoming a broadcasting pariah.

CLICK HERE to watch "Aussie DJs prank call to pregnant Kate Middleton's hospital Video"

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