London police open murder probe as one nerve-agent victim dies

     AMESBURY A policeman stands outside the home where the couple were found unconscious

SWNS AMESBURY A policeman stands outside the home where the couple were found unconscious

The head of UK Counter Terrorism policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, said Sturgess, a mother of three, died as the result of "an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act".

London's Metropolitan Police Department identified the woman as 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess of Durrington.

Sturgess and a 45-year-old man both took ill at a residential address in Amesbury on June 30.

He added that the other victim "remains critically ill in hospital and our thoughts are with him and his family as well".

"Further tests of samples from Dawn and the man showed that they were exposed to the nerve agent after touching a contaminated item with their hands".

A WOMAN exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in southwest England, near where a Russian spy was targeted by the same type of chemical in March, has died, police said.

The Skripal attack took place in the city of Salisbury, just a few kilometres away from the site of the Amesbury poisoning incident.

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid, center, exits the police cordon at Muggleton Road where counter-terrorism officers are investigating after a couple were left in a critical condition when they were exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, in Amesbury, England, Sunday July 8, 2018.

Britain has openly accused Russian Federation of being responsible for poisoning the Skripals with Novichok, a family of advanced nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970 and 1980s.

United Kingdom and other Western officials have blamed Russian Federation for carrying out the attack on the Skripals - a charge that Moscow has denied.

Prime Minister Theresa said she was "appalled and shocked by the death", and announced that incident is now being investigated as a murder.

Confirmation from authorities Wednesday that two British citizens were exposed to Novichok shook residents around Salisbury, who thought a months-long cleanup had removed any threat from the powerful nerve agent.

The hospital's medical director, Christine Blanshard, told the BBC that hospital staff worked tirelessly to save Sturgess.

"We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to", they said.

Public Health England said the risk to the general public "remains low".

Salisbury District Hospital treated Sturgess and Rowley.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a nerve agent in March. Police say they don't think Sturgess and Rowley visited any of the locations decontaminated after the Skripals' poisoning.

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