Prank-calling Australian radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian have deleted their Twitter accounts after users accused them of having "blood on their hands".
The 2DAY FM hosts used posh accents to convince London hospital staff they were Prince Charles and the Queen, elliciting private information on the health of the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William's pregnant wife.
Early Saturday morning, the nurse who took the crank call was found dead in an apparent suicide.
Scores of Twitter users accused the presenters of culpability. Some demanded their resignations, others supported online petitions calling for them to be dismissed for "gross misconduct".
2DAY FM's post on Facebook alerting followers to the incident ellicted more than 8000 responses on Saturday morning. Some called for the DJs' resignation and others their prosecution. Some wrote that the radio station would enjoy the publicity regardless, and urged sympathisers to tune-out.
New Facebook pages have been created in protest, too, including one called "RIP Jacintha Saldanha. Shame Upon Those Stupid Australian DJ's".
- "A husband without a wife and two kids without a mother! All thanks to you two @MelGreigHot30 & @MContheradio SHAME ON YOU! #royalprank" (@vratnay)
- Mel Greig and Michael Christian should be put in prison for what they have done!
Too right that Mel Greig and Michael Christian have lost their jobs, but what's happening to producers that approved the call?! ( @sophiiee89)
But others felt sympathy for the DJs, who have been taken off the air indefinitely by parent company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA).
@AllThatChas wrote: "Anger over Mel Greig & Michael Christian understandable. But their mistake will haunt them for life. No need for pitchforks or witch hunts."
Charlotte Dawson, a victim of online "trolling", tweeted: "Supporting people who find themselves under pressure & unable to cope should be the focus.
After a week spent tweeting about and publicising their prank-call, Mel Greig and Michael Christian have been told not to comment further following the nurse's death, and their Twitter accounts and previous tweets have been removed.
A statement from 2Day FM’s parent company, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), said it is ‘‘deeply saddened by the tragic news’’.
‘‘Chief executive officer Rhys Holleran has spoken with the presenters, they are both deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances,’’ the statement said.
‘‘SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy.’’
Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.