British woman dies after Novichok poisoning, Europe News & Top Stories
British woman dies after Novichok poisoning, Europe News & Top Stories
UK police hunt nerve agent container after woman dies
10 July, 2018, 03:05
A woman who was poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent in southwest England died Sunday, eight days after police think she touched a contaminated item that has not been found.
United Kingdom authorities quickly attributed their condition to exposure to "Novichok" - the substance the United Kingdom claims was used to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March this year.
In a statement to CNN, Counter Terrorism official Neil Basu said that "This is shocking and tragic news".
British police said they believe Sturgess and her partner, Charlie Rowley, must have handled a container of the substance and been exposed to a "high dose".
More than 100 police are trying to search all areas where Sturgess and Rowley had been before they became ill.
Further tests of samples from Sturgess and the man showed they were exposed to the nerve agent after touching a contaminated item with their hands, police said on Sunday.
"Their reaction was so severe, it resulted in Dawn's death and Charlie being critically ill", Basu said.
Javid said, "the nerve agent that's been used in this incident is the same as the March 4 incident, but we have not, the scientists have not been able to identify or determine if it is the same batch". Five hours after her collapse, police said, an ambulance was called back to the same address for Rowley, who also fell ill and was taken to the hospital.
But when asked directly if Russian Federation was responsible for the latest poisonings, he said it was hard to see any "other plausible explanation".
Prime Minister Theresa May said she was appalled and shocked by the death of Sturgess.
Mrs. May sent her "thoughts and condolences" and said officials are "working urgently to establish the facts".
Police in HAZMAT suits as they investigate the poisoning of two people in Salisbury.
Whatever the case, her death will now mean that - four months after the attack on the Skripals - the Novichok nerve agent has claimed its first victim. According to Reuters, the non-profit Nuclear Threat Initiative believes that at one point, Russian Federation had stockpiled "thousands of tonnes" of the nerve agent. Although the United Kingdom has not officially blamed Russia for the latest poisoning, Russian officials have already denied any Kremlin involvement.
Peskov meanwhile denied a suggestion by Russia's representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin that the incident appeared to be created to damage preparations for a meeting between Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki this month.
Ms Sturgess's son Ewan, 19, fears his mother might not emerge from her coma.
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: "I know this news will affect more people than just those who knew Dawn - it will affect our communities right across the county".
Public Health England said their assessment "remains that the overall risk to the general public remains low".
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