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Timeline: From prank to tragedy

Timeline: From prank to tragedy

  • Agencies
  • Published: 21:40 December 9, 2012

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • Relatives of Jacintha Saldanha, the Indian-origin nurse who died after being hoaxed by an Australian radio show trying to reach Prince William's wife in London, look on outside their residence in Shirva town, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, on December 8.
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Monday, December 3
The Duchess of Cambridge is admitted to the King Edward VII hospital in London. St James’s Palace announces she is in the “very early” stages of pregnancy and suffering from acute morning sickness.

Tuesday, December 4
1.
Radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, from Australia’s 2Day FM, call the hospital switchboard at around 5.30am GMT, pretending to be the Queen and Prince of Wales.

2. They speak to nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who is working on reception and puts the call through to a duty nurse. The second nurse provides details of The Duchess of Cambridge’s medical conditions.

3. Minutes after the prank call is recorded, the lawyers of 2Day FM review the conversation and clear it to be aired.

Wednesday, December 5
News of the prank call makes headlines around the world. The hospital condemns it as “deplorable” and “journalistic trickery”. The DJs offer “sincere apologies” and say they were surprised to get through due to their “terrible accents”.

Thursday, December 6
The duchess is discharged from hospital.

Friday, December 7
Police and an ambulance crew are called to a flat near the hospital, at 9.25am where the unconscious body of a woman is found. She is pronounced dead at the scene. The hospital later confirms the woman is Saldanha.

Saturday, December 8
The nurse’s death sparks outrage from people and media globally, including in Australia, over the hoax call. St James’s Palace condoles the death, while the radio station issues an apology for the tragic turn of events but says it did nothing illegal.

Sunday, December 9
1.
Scotland Yard contacts police in Australia as it emerges that the two DJs had gone into hiding. Further media outrage in Britain continues, while Australian media asks for an objective assessment of the situation instead of “blame game”.
2. Relatives of Saldanha, who are based in India, say they are yet to come to grips with the tragedy. More than 300 people attend a memorial service for the nurse held in Shriva, near the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.

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