A nurse who handled an Australian radio station's prank call regarding Kate Middleton’s pregnancy has died of a suspected suicide, according to reports.
Jacintha Saldanha was found unconscious near King Edward VII Hospital just before 9:30 AM, but paramedics were unable to revive her, according to Scotland Yard. She was first thought to be a receptionist, but new reports indicate she was a nurse working the switchboard.
Officers are investigating the incident and the death is being treated as "unexplained," however, one source indicated to the Daily Mail that it was a suicide.
"It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha," the hospital said in a statement. Lord Glenarthur, Chairman of King Edward VII’s Hospital, added, "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."
The Palace also issued a statement, saying, “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.”
On Wednesday, 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles to obtain medical information about Kate, who is suffering from acute morning sickness.
The nurse who answered the transferred call revealed that the Duchess, 30, “had an uneventful night” and was about to get “freshened up.” The Duchess was released from the hospital on Thursday.
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) announced on Friday that the DJs involved will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for the tragedy. According to a statement, "They are both deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances."