ibusinesslines.com September 21, 2018

United Kingdom police in protective suits investigate latest Novichok poisoning

07 July 2018, 03:22 | Erica Roy

Bing Maps Wiltshire major incident The incident occurred about eight miles from the Skripal attack

Wiltshire major incident Map of the area

An global situation has just become more complicated with the news that a couple is now being treated for Novichok poisoning, the same potent nerve agent used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, in March.

The UK's National Counter Terrorism Policing Network is leading the investigation.

The finding bolsters the theory that Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley may have stumbled across traces of the Novichok nerve agent used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Police are on the scene Thursday where a man and woman were reportedly exposed to the Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury, England.

The new victims are now both critically ill in the same hospital that treated the Skripals.

Mr Javid led blistering criticism from ministers as he demanded that the Kremlin provide an explanation for the poisoning in March of Sergei and Yulia Skripal alongside this week's poisoning of two others after handling a "contaminated item" potentially linked to the first attack.

British newspapers reported that samples were taken to the nearby United Kingdom military research center at Porton Down, the same facility that helped identify the nerve agent in the Skripal case.

Investigators have yet to determine how Sturgess and Rowley came into contact with the nerve agent, but they've closed down sites in Amesbury and Salisbury where the victims are thought to have traveled before they were found sick.

"The Russian state could put this "wrong" right, they could tell us what happened, what they did and fill in some of the significant gaps that we are trying to pursue", Wallace told BBC radio.

Wallace called on Russian Federation to share information about the poisoning.

The church was cordoned off by police at 6am on Wednesday, the church's secretary, Roy Collins, said.

"Russia has categorically denied and continues to categorically deny the possibility of any kind of involvement to what was happening there", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters Thursday.

They failed to kill the target, and have so far managed to poison four defenceless people.

But the exposure of two British citizens to such a unsafe nerve agent will stoke fears that Novichok could be lingering at sites around the ancient English city of Salisbury. He said 100 officers had been assigned to the case.

Sturgess and Rowley collapsed in Amesbury, a few miles away, over the weekend.

"Although Novichoks are quite persistent, they maintain their toxicity for months, whereas older nerve agents only last for hours and possibly days", explained Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert.

The Skripals' illness initially baffled doctors after they were found unconscious March 4 on a park bench in Salisbury. They were released from the hospital and have been taken to an undisclosed location for their protection.

The agent is so potent that only a small amount would be needed to cause death, he said, adding it could remain deadly after several years if stored in a secure environment.

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