UK: Woman dies following exposure to deadly nerve agent

UK: Woman dies following exposure to deadly nerve agent

After examination, doctors of the District Hospital in Salisbury concluded that the police officer, who had allegedly been poisoned with a nerve paralytic agent, does not have signs of poisoning.

"This is shocking and tragic news".

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the UK's most senior counter-terrorism office, said Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley were the only people to have presented with confirmed symptoms of Novichok exposure since the attack on the Skripals and the subsequent illness of police officer Nick Bailey are he too came into contact with the substance.

NOVICHOK victim Charlie Rowley has "just days to live", according to the mother of his partner Dawn Sturgess, who died after exposure to the nerve agent.

He added: "This bad news has only served to strengthen our resolve to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for what I can only describe as an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act".

In addition to Sturgess and Rowley, 21 people have been examined by health experts over concerns they could have been exposed to the Novichok - eight police officers and staff, nine health care workers, one paramedic and three members of the public.

Mr Rowley remains in critical condition in a Salisbury hospital.

But tests by the Porton Down military research center showed they had been exposed to Novichok.

However, Peskov also said he was unaware of anybody linking Moscow with this month's poisoning of a couple in Amesbury, which comes four months after Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned with the same substance in nearby Salisbury.

Britain has blamed Moscow for the attack on Sergei and Julia Skripal in March.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed condolences over Ms Sturgess's death but said linking Russian Federation to the poisoning would be "absurd". "The possibility that these two investigations might be linked is clearly a line of inquiry for us".

Nerve agent attack: What is Novichok? After reviving from comas, both were released.

The Ministry of Defence is working with the police on the investigation and the clear-up effort, with 175 armed forces personnel involved.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's government has strenuously denied any involvement in either case, floating an array of theories about what might have happened and nominating an assortment of possible culprits. "Our focus and priority at this time is to identify and locate any container that we believe may be the source of the contamination".

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "appalled and shocked" by Ms Sturgess' death.

However, police and public health officials insist the risk to the wider public remains low.

Mr Deputy Speaker, it is with profound sadness that I must inform the House that one of the patients - Dawn Sturgess - died last night at Salisbury District Hospital.

The investigation is being led by detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network and about 100 detectives are working round the clock, he said.

It also emerged officers have found a red Ford Transit van which Mr Rowley travelled in with three other men before falling ill.

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