The London hospital that treated Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has condemned an Australian radio station that made a hoax call.
A prank phone call was made by two Australian radio presenters pretending to be the British Queen and her son Prince Charles seeking information about the duchess's health.
There has been renewed soul-searching over media ethics after Jacintha Saldanha, 46, the nurse who was duped by the station's call to the King Edward VII hospital, was found dead in staff accommodation nearby yesterday.
The owners of Sydney's 2DayFM said it had done nothing wrong and no one could have foreseen the tragic outcome of the stunt, but two leading Australian firms suspended their advertising.
Meanwhile, the independent media regulator in Australia is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the prank call.
A recording of the call was made available on the Internet, and many newspapers printed a transcript of the conversation.
The nurse who answered the call, 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha, was found dead yesterday morning.
The Australian media regulator had been inundated with complaints about the prank call made by two DJs from the radio station 2Day FM.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which regulates radio broadcasting, has been discussing the matter with the Sydney-based station.
A spokeswoman for the ACMA said it had received "a lot" of complaints but declined to give a figure.
Rhys Hollearn, CEO of 2Day FM's parent company Southern Cross Austereo, held a press conference in Melbourne early this morning.
Mr Holleran said that he was confident that the radio station had done nothing wrong and would cooperate with authorities in any investigation.
He added that it was too early to draw conclusions from the incident.
"This is a tragic event that could not have been reasonably foreseen and we are deeply saddened by it," Mr Holleran told reporters. "Our primary concern at this stage is for the family of Nurse Saldanha."
A spokesperson for Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the death as a "terrible tragedy".
The radio station launched its stunt in the wake of a frenzy of media attention in Britain and worldwide after officials announced Ms Middleton, who is married to Britain's Prince William, was pregnant.
Two presenters from Australia's 2DayFM radio station called the hospital early on Tuesday British time, pretending to be Prince William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth and his father, the heir-to-the throne Prince Charles.
Despite unconvincing accents, presenters Michael Christian and Mel Greig were put through to the ward where Kate was being treated and were given details about how she was faring.
Ms Saldanha had answered the call as it was early morning and there were no receptionists on duty, and had passed it to a nurse on the ward.
Ms Saldanha, who had worked at the hospital for four years, had not been facing any disciplinary action, a source said.
"She was an excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of her colleagues," John Lofthouse, chief executive at King Edward VII Hospital, said.
The two radio hosts involved in the hoax call will not return to their show until further notice "out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy", said a spokeswoman for 2Day FM.