Woman Dies After Exposure to Soviet-Era Nerve Agent in England

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 12, 2018

A woman who was exposed to a nerve agent in Amesbury, the United Kingdom, has died in the hospital, police reported.

"This latest horrendous turn of events has only served to strengthen the resolve of our investigation team as we work to identify those responsible for this outrageous, reckless and barbaric act", Neil Basu, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, said. Rowley remains critically ill.

For its part, Russian government officials have denied all involvement, while at least some British officials have urged caution in attributing blame.

Russian Federation denies any involvement in the Skripals' case.

It is unknown if the incident is connected to the major police investigation in the the Novichok poisoning crisis.

The woman, identified by police as Dawn Sturgess, 44, from Durrington was thought to have handled a "contaminated item" at Salisbury on 29 June before falling ill.

Mr Javid said there were "no plans" for further sanctions against Russian Federation, but he repeated the government's assessment that Russian Federation was the source of the Novichok.

They are not showing any signs of having been exposed to the nerve agent, and are being screened as a precaution.

A police officer sought medical advice Saturday in connection with the ongoing investigation of the nerve agent exposure, but was given the "all clear", according to Wiltshire Police.

A police officer who attended the pair after they were found unconscious in a Salisbury park was also treated for exposure to the agent.

Basu said that detectives would need forensic evidence before definitively concluding that the Novichok used in the first attack had made the British couple ill.

Police say they are still following the line of inquiry that the Novichok used in both incidents was from the same batch, but admit they have no evidence to support this as of now.

"After new tests carried out with patient samples, we now know that y were exposed to nerve agent after handling a contaminated object", London police said in a statement. That afternoon, Rowley fell ill at the same address in Amesbury and was also hospitalised.

Last week, the Chief Medical Officer for England said that the risk to the wider public remains low but that people in the local area should not pick up any odd items such as needles, syringes or unusual containers, given the source of the contamination has not yet been found.

Police say the nerve agent that sickened Rowley and Sturgess was the same type that nearly killed the Skripals, but scientists haven't been able to tell whether it was from the same batch.

Mr Deputy Speaker, it is with profound sadness that I must inform the House that one of the patients - Dawn Sturgess - died last night at Salisbury District Hospital. There were only two options, she argued: either the Russians had conducted the attempted assassination, or the nerve agent had fallen into the hands of a third party.

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