The Daily Mail reports that Jacintha Saldanha was a hospital nurse working as a receptionist at the time the call came through early Tuesday morning from two radio show hosts from Australian music station 2Day FM. This morning, Saldanha was found unconscious at an address near the hospital. Paramedics were unable to revive her and she was declared dead at the scene, leaving behind a husband and two children.
A spokesman from Scotland Yard, London’s police force, said:
“Police were called at approximately 9.25am on Friday, December 7, to a report of a woman found unconscious an address in Weymouth Street, W1. London Ambulance Service attended and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances of the incident. The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage”.
The hospital isn’t believed to have been disciplining Saldanha about the situation, and according to a statement:
“It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha. Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII’s Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of 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.”
The Duke and Duchess have also released a statement, and are “deeply saddened” by this news:
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.”
Unfortunately, one of the radio show hosts, Michael Christian, is still promoting the prank call. At 3:34 this morning, he tweeted:
— Michael Christian (@MContheradio) December 7, 2012
He has since taken down the tweet, but angry citizens have been chastising him all morning with messages like, “Probably the most unfortunate tweet of this week”, and “If there is any justice you and your co-host will lose your cushy jobs and be black listed from working within the media!”
UPDATE: The radio station and its owner, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) have released the following statement:
“Chief executive officer Rhys Holleran has spoken with the presenters. They are both deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances. SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy.”
[via Daily Mail]