Indian-origin nurse who fell for prank call on Kate dead


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LONDON: An Indian-origin nurse who took a prank call at the London hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife Kate for morning sickness was found dead on Friday. Media reports said it could be a suicide.

The unconscious body of Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found on Friday morning yards away from King Edward VII Hospital where she worked. The death, which police said they were treating as unexplained, comes days after the hospital apologized for falling for the call from an Australian radio station.

"It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha," the hospital said. "We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her." Saldanha's husband and two children have been informed.

The announcement on Monday that Kate was pregnant with a future British king or queen sparked a media frenzy and generated worldwide interest.

Two presenters from Australia's 2Day radio station had called the hospital on Wednesday morning, pretending to be William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth and his father , Prince Charles. Saldanha reportedly gave details of Kate's condition to the pranksters . However, another agency reported that Saldanha had merely received the call and transferred it to a nurse caring for the duchess, who spoke about her 30-year-old patient.

William and Kate left the hospital on Thursday. "Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well... by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family... " a statement from William's office said.