Police looking for item that poisoned British couple, urge caution

Saul Bowman
July 9, 2018

Hours later, an ambulance was called at around 0915 GMT to treat a woman who had lost consciousness at a house in Muggleton Road in Amesbury, where Hobson said Rowley lived.

Six sites visited by Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess in Salisbury and Amesbury before they fell ill have been cordoned off.

Britain has accused Russian Federation of poisoning the Skripals with the nerve agent - developed by the Soviet military during the Cold War - at the former spy's home in Salisbury in what was the first known offensive use of such a chemical weapon on European soil since World War Two.

They first responded to a woman, 44, who had lost consciousness, and later in the day to a man, 45, who began exhibiting unusual behavior, a friend who was with him told authorities.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the March incident and suggested the British security services had carried out that attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria. The Kremlin has denied any involvement.

"What we are clear on.is that this is the exact same nerve agent from the Novichok family", Home Secretary Sajid Javid said.

Officials said the highest concentration of Novichok was found on the couple's hands, leading them to suspect they encountered the poison from handling some contaminated item. He added that a positive perception of Russian Federation ran contrary to the official narrative and blamed British authorities for presenting what could have been a drug overdose as another Novichok poisoning. 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.

Cara Charles-Barks, the chief executive of Salisbury District Hospital, said both of the patients remained in a critical condition.

Forensic investigators are continuing to comb for clues in Wiltshire after the latest novichok poisoning.

Police believed the pair had secondary exposure to the chemical weapon used in the attack on the Skripals.

Michelle Jordan, a local resident in Amesbury, says she's had to tell her two children not to touch anything when they go to the park and to wash their hands.

Rowley remains critically ill in hospital.

Earlier on July 5, Security Minister Ben Wallace told the BBC that "the Russian state could put this "wrong" right".

Experts say just a few milligrams of the odourless Novichok liquid - the weight of a snowflake - is enough to kill a person within minutes.

"I think the working assumption now is that device or that syringe is what has appeared and the residue caused these two people to become ill". It is a slow and painstaking process as there is no easy way to use modern technology to pinpoint the location of the rare nerve agent.

"The eyes of the world are now on Russia", Home Secretary Sajid Javid told lawmakers on July 5, while urging Russia to explain "exactly what has gone on" in Salisbury, as reported by RFE/RL.

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