“This is a tragic event that could not have been reasonably foreseen and we’re deeply saddened by it,” Rhys Holleran of Southern Cross Austereo said at a news conference Saturday [via Sky News].
“I spoke to both presenters early this morning and it’s fair to say they’re completely shattered. These people aren’t machines, they’re human beings. We’re all affected by this,” he said, adding that the DJs have been offered counseling to deal with the tragedy.
The body of Saldana, a nurse receptionist, was found around the corner from the hospital on Friday. Scotland Yard is investigating the death as a possible suicide.
Meanwhile, Southern Cross Austereo is facing a huge backlash from advertisers in the wake of the tragedy.
According to Sky News, the Sydney-based station has pulled all advertising from its airwaves. Coles, a supermarket corporation, and telecoms business Telstra also announced plans to withdraw commercials from the station.
“We understand Australians are clearly angry and upset by what appear to be tragic consequences of the 2DayFM UK hospital prank. We have wanted to let you know we have instructed 2DayFM to remove all Coles group advertising from the station as soon as possible, ” Coles wrote on its Facebook page.
On Friday, St. James’s Palace released a statement on behalf of Middleton and her husband, Prince William, following the tragic news.
“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,” a spokesperson said.
Earlier this week, the royal family announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child together. The Duchess spent four days at the hospital, where she was treated for severe morning sickness.
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