Saturday, 22 September, 2018

UK Poisoning: Police say Novichok may be left over March

Police on the scene where Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were exposed to the poison Novichok Modal Trigger Police on the scene where Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were exposed to the poison Novichok Getty Images
Faye Gross | 06 July, 2018, 22:59

More than 100 officers were looking for clues in a race to understand how two local people were exposed to a nerve agent that was produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

His remarks come as Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fight for their lives in hospital after they were exposed to the chemical weapon Novichok.

British police say two more people have been poisoned by the same type of nerve agent used to attack a Russian former spy and his daughter.

Already, Russian officials have denied they had anything to do with the latest poisoning in the United Kingdom, albeit unprompted by British authorities who have made no allegations against Moscow.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in their poisoning.

The British Home Secretary has demanded that Russian Federation explain how a nerve agent that only its government reportedly had access to has shown up a second time on British soil.

Russian Federation said Thursday it had offered assistance to Britain with the Skripal investigation, but that Britain refused the offer.

"It's not just Amesbury, but also the nearby city of Salisbury, which has had areas shut off, like this park near where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious earlier this year", said Al Jazeera's Sonia Gallego, reporting from Amesbury.

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Investigators are studying the possibility the Amesbury pair may have come into contact with residue from the Skripal attack, and counter-terrorism officers were working with Wiltshire police "given the recent events in Salisbury", Scotland Yard said.

"It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks and towns to be dumping grounds for poison", he told parliament.

Forensic searches were due to be carried out at the Amesbury home where Sturgess and Rowley collapsed, and other sites the couple visited before they were sickened.

Officials are working to determine whether they were exposed to a new batch of Novichok or whether they stumbled onto the same materials used to poison the Skripals.

The couple in question - Dawn Sturgess, 44 and Charlie Rowley, 45 - who were initially suspected of overdosing on contaminated illegal drugs - are being treated at Salisbury District Hospital. Still, residents could not contain their unease with a second brush with Novichok, even though public health officials said the risk of contamination to anyone was very low.

Medics attended again several hours later, after Mr Rowley also fell ill.

The Skripals eventually recovered after treatment, but not before the British government lead the charge for a major diplomatic pushback against Russian Federation for orchestrating the attack-something Moscow continues to deny. They spent weeks in hospital before being discharged.

Paramedics who took one of the victims away were wearing hazmat protective suits, according to video footage obtained by Sky. The people affected are not officially named by police, who still believe they have fallen victim to a contaminated batch of drugs - "possibly heroin or crack cocaine".

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