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A box containing the banking details of 200 rich investors was found by the side of the road after apparently falling off the back of a courier's van.

The container, which included cheques and other sensitive papers, was supposed to be safely carried between a Prudential building in Reading to a secure storage facility in Essex by a DHL courier. Instead, it wound up close to a motorway slip road.

Financial details of 200 wealthy investors, including three national lottery winners, were exposed as a result. Luckily, the box was discovered by a vehicle recovery driver on a roundabout close to the slip road for Junction 11 of the M4 near Reading in Berkshire. The documents have since been returned to Prudential.

Preliminary results from an investigation into the incident suggests that the box fell out of a van door that the DHL driver had failed to properly close. Prudential has suspended the use of DHL as a courier until the investigation is over, This is London reports.

Prudential has written to affected customers, including Karen Child who won £8.4m on the Lotto last year, apologising for the breach. It promised its clients would not lose out as a result of the snafu.

Separately, the NHS has launched a probe after patient records on their way to disposal blew off the side of a lorry. Medical records of patients wound up strewn across a country lane in Hertfordshire, the BBC reports.

Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London, and St Bartholomew's Hospital in the City, have each launched probes as a result of the breach. ®

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