Sunday, 22 July, 2018

British police confirm source of Novichok poisoning

Dawn Sturgess Official Doctors were unable to save Dawn Sturgess
Jeannette Daniel | 13 July, 2018, 23:00

Met Police today released a statement saying they believe the source of the Novichok that killed Sturgess was a small bottle.

Counter terrorism investigators said they had recovered a small glass bottle from the home of victim, Charlie Rowley, which had tested positive for Novichok.

The incident came months after the poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, also with Novichok, prompting fears that Sturgess and Rowley had been exposed to some of the left-over poison. Her partner, Charlie Rowley, initially was in critical condition, but has regained consciousness. "Scientists have now confirmed to us that the substance contained within the bottle is Novichok".

'Inquiries are under way to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Charlie's house'.

Further tests will now be carried out, the force said.

"However, we can not guarantee that there isn't more of the substance left and cordons will remain in place for some considerable time", he said. "This is to allow thorough searches to continue as a precautionary measure for public safety and to assist the investigation team", he said. Sturgess, 44, died on July 8.

The Foreign Office also on Friday said it had invited independent technical experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog to Britain early next week "to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent".

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Today's discovery has been called "significant and encouraging" by Wiltshire Police.

"The way that we do this might start to look slightly different from next week when private security guards will join my officers on some of the cordons".

A post-mortem examinaton will be conducted next Tuesday to investigate Ms Sturgess' death.

About 100 counterterrorism detectives are working on the investigation, according to the police statement.

Authorities insist the risk to the public in Salisbury and Amesbury remains low and there have been been no further cases of people falling ill.

"The advice remains "if you didn't drop it, then don't pick it up".

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