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Kate nurse who took hoax baby call from Australian DJs found dead
3:06pm Friday 7th December 2012 in News
A nurse who was working at the hospital which treated the Duchess of Cambridge when telephone hoaxers struck earlier this week has been found dead.
Jacintha Saldanha was found an address near the King Edward VII Hospital in London this morning.
The hospital said in a statement: "We can confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha.
"Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII Hospital for more than four years. 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 has been supporting her at this difficult time."
Hospital chief executive John Lofthouse said: "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."
Lord Glenarthur, the hospital's chairman, said: "This is a tragic event. Jacintha was a first class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. She will be greatly missed."
Scotland Yard said the death was not being treated as suspicious.
Two Australian radio DJs impersonated the Queen and the Prince of Wales to dupe Ms Saldanha into giving a condition update on Kate, who was suffering severe morning sickness at the private hospital.
The presenters, from 2Day FM, remarked during their show how their efforts were the "easiest prank call ever made", as they put on mock British accents they later described as "terrible".
In a statement today, Scotland Yard said officers were called at around 9.35am this morning to a report of a woman found unconscious at an address in Weymouth Street, W1.
It said: "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."
Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Lofthouse condemned the hoax call, made in the early hours of that day and said that the hospital was considering legal action.
The 2Day FM presenters, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, later apologised for their actions as did their radio station.
The station was expected to issue a statement about the death later today.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "This is tragic news, and the thoughts of all at the Royal College of Nursing go to the family of Jacintha Saldanha.
"It is deeply saddening that a simple human error due to a cruel hoax could lead to the death of a dedicated and caring member of the nursing profession."