Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Policeman evaluated in Salisbury hospital in connection with nerve agent exposure case

Policeman evaluated in Salisbury hospital in connection with nerve agent exposure case

The police investigation into the poisoning of a couple in Wiltshire from a suspected nerve agent which almost killed a former Russian spy and his daughter is expected "to take months to complete", according to officers.

44-year-old don Sturgess of Salisbury and 45-year-old Charles Rowley of Amesbury are in critical condition in the district hospital, Salisbury, where previously treated Skrypali.

"Following the detailed analysis of these samples, we can confirm that the man and woman have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, which has been identified as the same nerve agent that contaminated both Yulia and Sergei Skripal".

Police on Wednesday said sites that it believed the man and woman found in Amesbury had frequented in both Amesbury and Salisbury would be cordoned off overnight as a precaution.

The Swindon Advertiser reported tonight that the patient had now been moved to Salisbury District Hospital.

Police have admitted they can not guarantee others won't be poisoned and Public Health England repeated "highly precautionary advice" for people who had visited five locations identified by police, but insisted there was no immediate health risk.

Leeds University toxicology expert Alastair Hay, said police were likely to be looking for a glass container as that would be the safest way to transport such a corrosive substance.

Meanwhile, the couple remained in critical condition, breathing with the assistance of ventilators and surrounded by the world's leading experts on Novichok poisoning, their odds of survival being closely tracked by Britain and Russian Federation.

Toxicologists say the first days after a poisoning are a crucial threshold for survival, as the body struggles to resynthesize an enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, which is inhibited by nerve agents.

However, Metropolitan Police said in a statement Thursday that the possible connection between the nerve agent incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury is the main line of the current investigation.

The hit squad sent to murder Sergei Skripal probably sprayed Novichok on his front door before trailing him and his daughter through Salisbury until they saw them collapse on a park bench on March 4.

Novichok is a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

A United Kingdom police officer was hospitalized Saturday in connection with the nerve agent incident in Amesbury, England, but was released and given the all-clear after being checked out, according to news reports. Authorities are searching several locations in Amesbury and Salisbury, which are about 9 miles apart, for where the pair may have come across nerve agents.

After the Skripal poisoning, police investigators in protective hazmat suits scoured Salisbury.

Viktoria Skripal is back in Russian Federation, where she is running for a seat in a regional legislature on the ticket of a Kremlin-controlled party.

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