United Kingdom woman dies after second nerve-agent poisoning

Pauline Gross
July 10, 2018

"The 45-year-old man who fell ill with Dawn remains critically ill in hospital and our thoughts are with him and his family as well". Sturgess died on July 8.

Police have said the working theory is that their exposure was linked to the earlier Novichok attack in March on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury.

Despite being rushed to intensive care, Sturgess died on Sunday evening, and police have now launched a murder inquiry.

Police suspect they were exposed through a contaminated item left over from the first attack, which Britain blames on Russian Federation.

The Met urged anyone who may have information that could assist with this investigation and would urge anyone to help to contact police by calling 0800 789 321.

More than 100 police officers are working to try and locate a small vial believed to have contained the nerve agent Novichok, which was manufactured in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner tweeted: "The death. pushes the #Amesbury case onto a whole new plane".

"There is no evidence that they visited any of the sites that were decontaminated following the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March this year", Basu said.

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They must have got a high dose and our hypothesis is that they must have handled a container that we are seeking.

Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley often foraged through bins and it is believed their lifestyle brought them into contact with the novichok. The Novichok nerve agent blocks a key enzyme that controls communication between nerve cells and reduces oxygen in the body, potentially leading to breathing difficulties and convulsing muscles. Novichok strands five and seven are believed to be the most unsafe but their exact composition is a closely guarded secret. "They did everything they could", she said. This will be helped when they are in a protective container.

The alleged Novichok poisoning in Amesbury stirred up a whole new wave of anti-Russia hysteria, and yet when it came to the Home Secretary's parliamentary updates on the case, the chamber was surprisingly empty.

But what does this mean for the public? Friends said that Rowley would often search dumpsters for items to barter or sell.

At room temperature, nerve agents are normally liquids.

On Tuesday morning, a white Audi was removed from Swindon, about 40 miles from Salisbury, as part of the investigation into the novichok poisonings. The nerve agent sarin is considered to be volatile as it can quickly be evaporated and breathed in by humans. "For the general public, it's not really an issue providing they don't go sticking their fingers in amusing places". Her partner was left in a critical condition. Professor Paul Cosford of Public Health England has said, however, that "As a precaution we still advise the public not to pick up any odd items such as needles, syringes or unusual containers".

For investigators, the hunt for the deadly object goes on.

A major counter-terrorism police investigation is taking place into how the couple were exposed to the chemical weapon.

Other reports by GizPress

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