World News

United Kingdom man exposed to nerve agent is conscious

United Kingdom man exposed to nerve agent is conscious

Police seized a auto in the large town of Swindon as part of their probe into the death of 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, who was exposed to Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Describing the difficulties of the investigation, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: 'There are multiple scenes, there are only limited numbers of scientists and forensic medical officers - all of whom are volunteers by the way - to do what is a really, really risky piece of work for obvious reasons.

Police said the pair came into contact with the toxin after Sturgess handled a highly contaminated item in the town of Amesbury, just a few miles from Salisbury where nominally retired Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March. Moscow rejected the accusations and hit back by expelling Western diplomats.

Williamson was asked in parliament about the threat facing people in Britain after the death of Dawn Sturgess on Sunday.

Novichok was invented by the Soviet Union and is one of the most toxic substances known to man, it blocks instructions from nerves to muscles and causes huge pain and death.

Hospital officials say his condition has now been upgraded to "serious, but stable".

Basu said he hopes Rowley continues to improve and can give police details about the location of the container.

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"The brutal fact is we don't know where they found it", he said.

Five site are now cordoned off in Amesbury and Salisbury after the poisoning of Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess. Police initially believed the two had consumed a contaminated batch of illegal drugs but further testing showed they had been exposed to Novichok.

Despite the British government blaming Russian Federation, police have not named suspects in either poisoning incident.

Britain has notified the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Central to the investigation are John Baker House, the supported-living accommodation where Ms Sturgess lived, Mr Rowley's home in Amesbury, and Salisbury's Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which remains cordoned off.

Yulia Skripal was discharged from hospital in April and her father was discharged in May. "They did everything they could", Christine Blanshard, medical director at the hospital said.

"I would love to be able to say that we have identified and caught the people responsible and how we are certain there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in Wiltshire", he said.


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