News staff rushed to hospital

HEALTH EMERGENCY:

An unknown number of senior News Corp Australia executives and editorial staff are in hospitals in both Melbourne and Sydney this morning with the condition of some being described as critical.

Emergency response services were stretched in Melbourne last night when dozens of Ambulance Victoria vehicles and paramedics rushed to the Southbank offices of News Corp Australia following a deluge of triple-0 calls. (main picture)

At the same time the NSW Ambulance Service in Sydney was struggling to respond to dozens of emergency calls from News Corp Australia’s headquarters at Surry Hills. (below)

A spokesperson for Ambulance Victoria said the emergency calls started to be received by its triple-0 operators early last night.

“We understand the calls started when staff at yesterday’s late afternoon editorial conference for the Herald Sun were briefed on the front-page story published today about Victorian Government plans to introduce an extra year of free early education for kindergarten-age children,” the spokesperson said.

“A similar story appeared today in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and in The Australian because the NSW Government is going to do the same things and a joint announcement is being made today by both state Premiers. (below)

“This seems to have been a factor in the sudden collapse of so many News Corp Australia staff, especially those in Melbourne.

“Our paramedics report that some of those being conveyed to hospital were muttering about their shock and surprise at the announcement by Premier Dan Andrews and his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrottet.

“They were saying things like: ‘How can we bag Dan when Dom’s doing the same thing?’

“Some were writhing in agony at the prospect of having to publish a positive story about Premier Andrews.

“Others were selflessly wondering about the condition of Rupert Murdoch and if he had been told the bad news.”

The sheer number of News Corp Australia staff affected meant they were admitted to several hospitals in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Early this morning the condition of most of those remaining in hospital was described as “critical”.

“That’s not a health assessment but a political and editorial one,” said one hospital spokesperson.

“They all pretty much remain highly critical of Dan Andrews and have vowed to find some way to attack him over this early-education initiative while lauding Dom Perrottet.”