Amesbury poisoning: Novichok source revealed as small bottle

14 Juillet, 2018, 01:13 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Novichok

British Police say they have found a container they believe was the source of the nerve agent Novichok that killed one woman and left her partner in a serious condition in hospital.

Police said that on Wednesday they discovered a "small bottle" containing Novichok inside the home of Charlie Rowley, who along with his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, was exposed to the deadly toxin and admitted to the hospital on June 30.

A bottle was found in a search at Charlie Rowley's Amesbury house and was tested by scientists at Porton Down, the Metropolitan Police said.

"However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left", said Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of United Kingdom counter-terrorism policing. "However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left", Basu said.

The restaurant had been cordoned off during the investigation of the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March, who had visited Zizzi shortly before their collapse, but it was later allowed to reopen.

Officers from the investigation team have spoken to Mr Rowley and will be speaking to him further to establish how he and his partner came to be contaminated. Sturgess, 44, died in hospital on Sunday, and police have opened a murder investigation.

Wiltshire Chief Constable Kier Pritchard welcomed the development, describing it as "significant and encouraging".

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

Authorities have yet to understand how the couple came across the contaminated bottle and how it ended up in their house.

"This will free up some Wiltshire Police officers to get back to supporting day-to-day community policing".

Public Health England said the risk to the public in Salisbury and Amesbury "remains low" and no further cases of illness linked to the incident had been seen.

Public health officials say the risk to the public is low, but advised people not to pick up any unusual items.

Public Health England reiterated its advice to members of the public and urged residents not to touch, or pick up, unfamiliar objects.

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