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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.

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She has been named as as Jacintha Saldanha. The King Edward VII hospital said it made the announcement with “very deep sadness”.

A statement from the hospital added: “Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and well respected and popular with all over 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.”

Two Australian radio DJs impersonated the Queen and the Prince of Wales earlier this week, and it is thought Ms Saldanha put the DJs through to another nurse who gave a condition update on Kate, who was being treated for severe morning sickness at the private King Edward VII Hospital in central London.

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”.

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.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “Police were called at approximately 9.35am this morning to a report of a woman found unconscious at an address in Weymouth Street, W1.

“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.”

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