2 people exposed to unknown substance near Salisbury

2 people exposed to unknown substance near Salisbury

2 people exposed to unknown substance near Salisbury

Mr Basu said: "This evening we have received test results from Porton Down that show the two people have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok".

A police officer stands in front of Amesbury Baptist Church, which has been cordoned off after two people were hospitalised and police declared a "major incident", in Amesbury, Wiltshire, Britain, July 4, 2018.

This comes just four months after former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were targeted and poisoned by Novichok that had been deposited on the door of Sergei Skripal's home in Salisbury, England.

Public Health England (PHE) said it did not believe there to be a "significant health risk" to the wider public, although its advice was being reviewed. The couple, believed to be Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, are in a critical condition having been found unconscious at a house on Saturday. An ambulance was called to a residence in Amesbury following the woman collapsed shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday morning, and another ambulance was called that afternoon in response to the collapse of the man.

Both patients remain in a critical condition in hospital, Mr Basu said, although nobody else has presented with signs of exposure to the nerve agent.

Authorities said the cases are related, but they did not say how exactly.

Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said the police had worked hard at "containing any risk that might be there", the BBC reported.

The British government blamed Russian Federation for the Skripal poisoning, saying a military-grade nerve agent known as Novichok, developed in the Soviet Union, was used in the attack.

"London police later said in a statement, ". we now know that they were exposed to the nerve agent after handling a contaminated item".

Almost two weeks ago, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited the town of Salisbury, where the Skripals were poisoned, to show their support for the town's recovery.

It's not clear whether the park that's been cordoned off is the same park the Skripals were found in, although the ABC's London Bureau chief Lisa Millar says it was a park "the couple had been in".

He did not argue that the nerve agent was from the same batch that was allegedly used in March to poison former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia but did not rule out any connection between these incidents.

Investigators have yet to determine how Sturgess and Rowley came into contact with the nerve agent, but they've closed down sites in Amesbury and Salisbury where the victims are thought to have traveled before they were found sick.

"The possibility that these two lines of investigations might be linked is clearly a line of enquiry for us".

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who publicly accused Russian Federation in the Skripal case, is again putting the blame on the government of Vladimir Putin today.

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