UPDATE: Hospital Nurse Who Transfered Prank Call Dies in Suspected Suicide
The two Australian radio hosts who made a prank phone call that allegedly led to the suicide of a hospital worker have closed their Twitter accounts and left the airwaves for now.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian of '2Day FM' radio have yet to comment after news broke that Jacintha Saldanha, a receptionist at King Edward VII hospital in London, had committed suicide.
But a statement posted on the Facebook page of Southern Cross Austereo, the company that owns the station behind the prank, says the hosts have removed themselves from the air.
The statement reads as follows:
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and 2Day FM are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha from King Edward VII’s Hospital and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family and all that have been affected by this situation around the world.
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.
Officials with the radio station tell TMZ the hosts have been ordered not to speak to media.
A petition calling for the hosts to be fired has been launched online.
The hospital said Friday that Saldanha had been a victim of the call made by the disc jockeys that was intended to elicit information about the Duchess of Cambridge.
She was the first person heard on the call and passed the host to a nurse that had been treating Middleton.
Saldanha was found unconscious early Friday at an address just yards away from the hospital. Paramedics were unable to revive her and pronounced her dead at the scene.
Scotland Yard is now investigating and is treating her death as "unexplained."
The BBC is reporting that Saldanha was married with two children and that the hospital did not discipline or suspend her following the incident.
The Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, had been in the hospital for acute morning sickness. The two radio personalities have since apologized.
In a statement St James's Palace said: "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."
The hospital said this afternoon: '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.
John Lofthouse, Chief Executive at King Edward VII’s Hospital, added: '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, Chairman of King Edward VII’s Hospital, says, '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.'
There are already at least a dozen Facebook pages dedicated to Saldanha's memory and petitions to get the pair fired are making the rounds online.
AUDIO: Australian Radio Station Crank Calls Duchess' Hospital