Murder inquiry launched after Amesbury poison victim dies in hospital

09 July, 2018, 04:14 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Couple exposed to 'unknown substance' near British town where Russian spy was poisoned

A British woman died on Sunday after she was poisoned by the same nerve agent that struck a former Russian spy in March and triggered a crisis in relations between Western capitals and Moscow.

Dawn Sturgess fell ill last week and she and a man with her were taken to the hospital while foaming at the mouth and nearing death.

Sturgess had been hospitalized after falling ill on June 30 along with 45-year-old Charlie Rowley.

It is thought that Ms Sturgess, 44, and her partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, came into contact accidentally with an item contaminated by novichok that was used to try to kill Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter, Yulia, four months ago.

Specialists at the nearby military research laboratory at Porton Down, which specializes in the study of chemical weapons, identified the nerve agent used against the Skripals and Sturgess and Rowley as Novichok.

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The investigation into the nerve agent attacks is being led by Britain's Counter Terrorism Policing Network, and the police said around 100 detectives were working round the clock alongside colleagues from Wiltshire police.

"We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to".

They were believed to have become exposed to Novichok by handling a container, and a link to the Salisbury attack in March is a main line of investigation.

Russia, which is now hosting the soccer World Cup, has denied any involvement in the Skripal case and suggested the British security services had carried out the attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria. He said in a statement, "Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely hard time".

The man who became sick is still critically ill and in the hospital. "The government is committed to providing full support to the local community as it deals with this tragedy".

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Prime Minister Theresa May said police were still hard at work investigating the source of the nerve agent.

The Skripals were released from hospital but the investigation into the attack on them continues.

She said: "The staff here at Salisbury District Hospital worked tirelessly to save Dawn".

Dawn Sturgess died after exposure to a nerve agent in southeast England.

But he said health authorities continued to assert the risk to the public was low.

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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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