Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

UK Poisoning: Police say Novichok may be left over March

UK Poisoning: Police say Novichok may be left over March UK Poisoning: Police say Novichok may be left over March
Patty Aguilar | 06 July, 2018, 22:53

But they have not explained how they can, or cannot, track the nerve agent through an area.

Salisbury is 13 kilometers from Amesbury.

Scientists say there's no easy way to use technology to locate the container thought to be the source of the Novichok.

Skripal - a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign spy service - and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a park bench on March 4.

The Skripals spent weeks in critical condition after being attacked in the southwest England city of Salisbury in March.

Sturgess and Rowley collapsed in Amesbury, a few miles away, over the weekend. They returned later in the day when the man, Charlie Rowley, also fell ill.

A friend of the couple - now recovering in hospital - said Rowley was "garbling" and acting like a "zombie" before he passed out, according to The Mirror.

"He was rocking against the wall and his eyes were all red and pricked and he started sweating loads and dribbling, so I had to phone an ambulance for him", Hobson recalls.

Authorities initially thought the two had taken a contaminated batch of heroin or crack cocaine. The BBC reported the pair handled a contaminated item.

The nerve agent blocks messages from the nerves to the muscles, resulting in convulsions, interrupted breathing, vomiting and, in most cases, death.

Police say specialists have determined that a British couple in their 40s who visited the city of Salisbury were poisoned by the same lethal toxin - developed by the Soviet Union - that nearly killed Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the same English city in March. The Novichok used in March was believed to have been smeared on the Skripal's front door.

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A hospital spokeswoman said Thursday they were "acutely ill" and the focus of their treatment was "stabilisation".

British officials blamed the Skripals' poisoning on Russian Federation.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in their poisoning.

The pair are now in a secure location.

Police do not believe Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess were the victims of a targeted attack, but instead came into contact with the substance somewhere in Amesbury or Salisbury.

Downing Street confirmed that home secretary Sajid Javid will chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee today.

"It's very hard to say how it would be linked unless you know something about the people who've become the casualties", Major General Chip Chapman, former head of counter-terrorism for the Ministry of Defence, said.

British authorities insist there is "a low risk to the general public", but the apparent randomness of the contamination raises unanswered questions for residents of Salisbury, which was only just returning to normal after finding itself the epicentre of global tensions.

What has the government said?

"It is now time that the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on", he said. They left their novichok nerve agent in puddles across Wiltshire, suggesting they had little real idea of the substance they were dealing with.

At this point in the investigation, Sturgess and Rowley appear to have been two regular British citizens with no apparent connection to Russian Federation, the report said.

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