UK police in protective suits seen at site of new Novichok poisoning

Sunday, 08 Jul, 2018

"So, while the public at large are at very low risk from this material, until the source is found there is a remote chance that someone else might come into contact with it", Sella said.

A number of sites are being searched in the town of Amesbury, where the couple fell ill, and the nearby city of Salisbury, where the Skripals were poisoned. The British Home Secretary has demanded that Russian Federation explain how a nerve agent that only its government reportedly had access to has shown up a second time on British soil.

Earlier, Prime Minister Theresa May had described the poisoning of British couple Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley as "deeply disturbing" and pledged that police would leave "no stone unturned" in their investigation.

They remain in a critical condition after being exposed to Novichok by handling a contaminated item. He said: "It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns, to be dumping grounds for poison".

But Russia quickly hit back, denouncing Britain for playing "dirty political games" and demanding London apologise.

Police said tests were ongoing to discover what sickened the two people in the latest case of a suspected poisoning.

And he warned against a possible Kremlin disinformation campaign, telling MPs: "We have already seen multiple explanations from state-sponsored Russian media regarding this latest incident". The emergence of additional victims "will give it a renewed sense of urgency", particularly if one of them succumbs, said James Nixey, head of the Russian Federation and Eurasia program at Chatham House, a research group in London.

It is unclear whether there is any connection between the Skripal attack and the current incident.

"What we are clear that this is the exact same nerve agent from the Novichok family", he said.

Police have cordoned off at least five different areas around where the poisonings occurred, though officials insist there's little threat to the general public.

Sturgess and Rowley collapsed in Amesbury, a few miles away, over the weekend. They also urged locals not to pick up any unknown items.

"The spines were weakening", Nixey said of the British authorities, "and if there are new crimes or misdemeanors on the part of the Russian state, then it means that those spines can be restiffened".

"They could tell us what happened, what they did and fill in some of the significant gaps that we are trying to pursue".

"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.

Another unknown at this point is where exactly the two came into contact with Novichok.

British police officers guard a cordon outside the Amesbury Baptist Centre on Wednesday. Although he is not directly involved with the current investigation, he said that "from what I understand, this is debris or collateral from the original attack, possibly contained in a syringe or medical container".

"We don't know what's going on".