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Nurse's hospital protests over royal hoax

Speculation rife that nurse died due to stress from radio station's call

  • AP
  • Published: 20:26 December 8, 2012

  • Image Credit: Reuters
  • Nurse Jacintha Saldanha is seen in this undated handout photograph released by the Metropolitan Police in London on Saturday.
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London: The British hospital that fell victim to a prank call from two Australian DJs asking questions about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge condemned the hoax on Saturday, ratcheting up the pressure on their radio station a day after the nurse who took the call was found dead.

Lord Glenarthur, the chairman of King Edward VII’s Hospital, wrote the chairman of the radio station’s owner to urge him not to let such a thing happen again. The consequence of the prank for "was the humiliation of two dedicated and caring nurses who were simply doing their job tending to their patients," he wrote.

"The longer term consequence has been reported around the world and is, frankly, tragic beyond words."

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found dead early Friday at nurses’ housing provided by London’s King Edward VII hospital, where Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton, was being treated for acute morning sickness.

Police released a grainy photo of Saldanha yesterday. A native of India, she had lived in Bristol in southwestern England with her family for the past nine years, Scotland Yard confirmed. Police said her death is being treated as "unexplained," though they said they didn’t find anything suspicious. Police have made no connection between her death and the prank call, but people from London to Sydney have been making the assumption that she died because of stress from the call.

In a statement, Saldanha’s family said they were "deeply saddened" by the death and asked for privacy.

Saldanha had worked for four years at the hospital. She took the hoax call on Tuesday by the two DJs from 2DayFM, and transferred the call to the nurse caring for the duchess. During the call, a woman using the often-mimicked voice of Britain’s monarch asked about the duchess’ health.

Comments (6)

  1. Added 16:38 December 9, 2012

    It was NOT a prank call - it was a real attempt to get access to someones personal and private information - otherwise the radio DJ's should have announced it was a prank call but instead they persued for details about the condition of the Duchess. Therefore this contemptuous and dispicable action ; sanctioned by the management of the radio station has presumably been the motive of Nurse Jacintha taking her life in what is an awful turn of events which should sadden everyone of us and should be a lesson to all presenters. I hate to think that the grief being suffered by the Duchess Of Cambridge over this incident compounded with her morning sickness should have an adverse affect on her pregnancy. Not withstanding - ALL those at the Radio Station involved in this matter should never be licensed to operate nor be permitted to go on the airwaves EVER again. Sincere condolences to the nurse's husband children family and friends.

    David Woodward, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:37 December 9, 2012

    I agree with Pathiyil, how do listeners bear with this, tilll such time listeners encourage these prank calls tilll then this will continue

    ramesh, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:39 December 9, 2012

    This is a very sad news. There is a radio station in Dubai that does prank calls using delivery hotlines of restaurants, and the DJs were making fun of these poor sales staff. I think there should also be a law in Dubai not to allow these kind of prank calls.

    Levi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:40 December 9, 2012

    Yes, I agree. I used to listen to a morning show where the rj used to fool people on their birthdays. I simply stopped listening to that channel.

    rbdxb, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:33 December 9, 2012

    Prank calls have become a very common feature in radio stations all over the world. Many of the calls are so irritating that i can't imagine how the listeners tolerate them. Many a time, I have thought it's high time they should be banned.

    Pathiyil, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:53 December 9, 2012

    More or less people are receiving a lot of calls from radio stations in UAE too in the name of entertainment. Sometimes it is very annoying. Please listen and you will find guidelines and proper monitoring is required.

    Ahmad, Dubai, India

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