United Kingdom woman exposed to nerve agent dies, police open murder probe

09 July, 2018, 04:11 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Counter-terrorism police in UK investigating poisoning by ‘unknown substance

British police say Dawn Sturgess was staying in Salisbury before she showed signs of sickness in nearby Amesbury on June 30.

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.

A man named as Charlie Rowley, 45, also fell ill at the weekend and he remains in a critical condition. Hours later, emergency workers responded to the same address after the 45-year-old man had fallen ill, police said.

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

Scotland Yard said they have launched a murder investigation - the second major probe involving the nerve agent this year, following the case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March.

The Skripal attack took place in the city of Salisbury, just a few kilometres away from the site of the Amesbury poisoning incident.

The investigation is being led by detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network and about 100 detectives are working round the clock, he said.

The March attack on the Skripals prompted the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the Cold War as allies sided with Britain's view that Moscow was either responsible or had lost control of the nerve agent.

Russian Federation has reportedly denied involvement in both incidents.

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It is with great sadness that we have learned of the tragic death of 44 year old Dawn Sturgess, as reported by AC Neil Basu and the Prime Minister.

Mrs May sent her "thoughts and condolences" and said officials are "working urgently to establish the facts".

Sturgess died at Salisbury District Hospital, the same facility that nursed the critically ill Skripals.

Skripal and his daughter were both released from the hospital this spring.

The latest poisonings have further inflamed tensions between London and Moscow.

Confirmation from authorities Wednesday that two British citizens were exposed to Novichok shook residents around Salisbury, who thought a months-long cleanup had removed any threat from the powerful nerve agent.

Britain's public health authority acknowledged on Friday the concerns of people living in the area after the two incidents involving Novichok, but said it was confident that the risk to the public remained low. Police say they don't think Sturgess and Rowley visited any of the locations decontaminated after the Skripals' poisoning.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, almost died of exposure to Novichok left on the front doorstep of Sergei's home in March.

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