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Hoax call death: Australian radio network to give $523,600 to Jacintha's family

CNN-IBN
Dec 11, 2012 at 06:00pm IST

Melbourne: The Australian radio station, whose presenters last week made a prank call to a British hospital that was treating a pregnant Kate Middleton and led to the death of an Indian-origin nurse, has now offered to contribute at least 500,000 dollars to a memorial fund to help the grieving family of the woman.

Southern Cross Austereo had aired the controversial prank call conducted by 2Day FM DJs with two London nurses, including Jacintha Saldanha who was later found dead under mysterious circumstances. The radio network said it would resume the advertising and donate its profit to help Saldanha's family. It said that it would make a minimum 500,000 Australian dollar (USD 523,600) donation to the fund.

Following global condemnation after the death of Saldanah, Austereo had suspended all advertising on 2Day FM and was reportedly reviewing company polices and processes. The two hosts involved in the prank call have also been taken off air until further notice. "All profits from advertising on 2DayFM until the end of the year will be donated to an appropriate fund that will directly benefit the family of Jacintha Saldanha," a statement from the radio network said.

"Southern Cross Austereo today reiterates its deep regret for what has taken place in these tragic and unforeseen circumstances and offers its condolences to the family of Jacintha Saldanha." Southern Cross chief executive Rhys Holleran said the company was deeply saddened by "this tragic and unforeseen event and offers its condolences to the family of Jacintha Saldanha."

"We hope that by contributing to a memorial fund we can help to provide the Saldanha family with the support they need at this very difficult time," he said.

With additional information from PTI

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