Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Unclear if Amesbury poisoning linked to Skripal attack

Unclear if Amesbury poisoning linked to Skripal attack

Mother of three, Dawn Sturgess, 44, has died after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.

The prime minister said: "Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder".

"I simply can not offer any guarantees", Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of Britain's counter-terror police, which is leading the investigation, told reporters, emphasising that public health authorities had said the risk was "low". Rowley, 45, remains in critical condition.

A middle-aged British woman, who somehow came into contact with the Soviet-era nerve agent, died Sunday evening in a hospital in south England where she was being treated for exposure to the chemical weapon.

"The simple reality is that Russian Federation has committed an attack on British soil which has seen the death of a British citizen", Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said when asked in parliament about the threat facing people in Britain after the death of Dawn Sturgess.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Police are continuing to hunt for a contaminated container which they believe was handled by the pair.

Sturgess and Rowley were taken to hospital on June 30 after falling ill at a residential address.

"Just like before, we are deeply concerned that toxic substances continue to surface on British soil", Peskov said.

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"We are police officers and we need to work on evidence so I would need a clear forensic link", Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu said on Monday.

Police suspect Mr Rowley and Mr Sturgess handled an item from the first attack, which Britain blames on Russian Federation.

Counter-terror police have said their main line of inquiry is whether the two cases are linked, but Mr Williamson went a step further by pointing the finger at Moscow.

He said: 'The simple reality is that Russian Federation has committed an attack on British soil which has seen the death of a British citizen.

Hospital officials said late Saturday that a number of people including a police officer had sought medical advice in the last week but had been found not to need any treatment.

Professor Paul Cosford, from Public Health England, said the public is still being advised not to pick up "any odd items such as needles, syringes or unusual containers".

"The staff here at Salisbury District Hospital worked tirelessly to save Dawn".

A red transit van that Mr Rowley travelled in the day he fell ill has been identified and taken to Porton Down where tests will be carried out. "Their evidence is vital for both public safety and for the investigation".

"Because the nerve agents compromise nerve and muscle function, their effects are widespread and where deaths occur these are usually due to either respiratory or circulatory failure, or both", he said.

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