Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Woman poisoned with nerve agent Novichok dies, British police say

Parts of Salisbury had only been reopened two months ago after the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal Parts of Salisbury had only been reopened two months ago after the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal Credit AP
Charlie Simmons | 09 July, 2018, 04:14

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was appalled and shocked by the death of Sturgess.

London's Metropolitan Police said Dawn Sturgess, 44, passed away on Sunday in a hospital in Salisbury.

She and her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, 45, were admitted June 30 after falling ill a few kilometres away in Amesbury; Rowley remains in critical condition. Hours later, emergency workers responded to the same address after the 45-year-old man had fallen ill, police said.

Tests have revealed that the Amesbury couple were exposed to the nerve agent after touching a contaminated item with their hands.

A woman who was exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in southern England has died, police announced Sunday.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK Counter Terrorism policing, said: "This is shocking and tragic news".

They were believed to have become exposed to Novichok by handling a container, and a link to the Salisbury attack in March is a main line of investigation.

Britain maintains the March attack on the Skripals had been ordered by the Russian government, a charge denied by representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Britain blames Russian Federation for the attack, however, Russian Federation has denied the allegation.

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Dozens of detectives are working on the investigation, which is being led by the Counter Terrorism Policing Network, as well as officers from the Wiltshire Police Department.

A spokesman said the investigators are "not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skirpals were exposed to". Both survived the exposure and have since been discharged from the hospital.

Mrs May sent her "thoughts and condolences" and said officials are "working urgently to establish the facts".

He said: "Ms Sturgess was an innocent member of the public who should have been able to go about her daily life without becoming an unwilling victim in such an unprecedented, international, incident".

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, almost died of exposure to Novichok left on the front doorstep of Sergei's home in March. Police say they don't think Sturgess and Rowley visited any of the locations decontaminated after the Skripals' poisoning.

The two Britons had been taken ill last Saturday.

John Glen, the MP for the region, said the new poisoning has threatened an economic rebound from the slowdown caused by the attack on the Skripals. "The sentiment in the city is frustration, we want to get back to normal".

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