Mother exposed to nerve agent dies ten days after exposure
13 July, 2018, 07:43 | Author: Lucille Rivera
London's Metropolitan Police force said the case had become a homicide investigation now that 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess had died in a hospital in Salisbury. The British government identified substance to which y were exposed as belonging to Russian-made chemical weapons family known as Novichok, and directly accused Moscow of attack.
"I simply can not offer any guarantees", Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of Britain's counter-terror police, which is leading the investigation, told reporters. She and her partner Charlie Rowley were hospitalized after both fell seriously ill in what was initially believed to be a drug-related incident.
She added: "The staff here at Salisbury District Hospital worked tirelessly to save Dawn".
The British government has accused Russian Federation of poisoning the Skripals but Moscow has denied any involvement in either incident. The Government is committed to providing full support to local community while confronting this tragedy.
Speaking after Sturgess passed away on July 8, Basu told the media he "cannot offer any guarantees" and urged people to follow Public Health England advice to avoid picking up discarded containers or syringes. Authorities are still trying to determine where and how the two were exposed to the nerve agent.
"Detectives are working as quickly and as diligently as possible to identify the source of the contamination, but this has not been established at this time", police said on Sunday.
"This activity has centred on Dawn's address at John Baker House, Salisbury, Charlie's address in Muggleton Road, Amesbury, and Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury", Mr Basu said.
"The possibility that the two investigations might be linked is clearly a key line of inquiry for police".
Sturgess was found by emergency medical workers after she collapsed at a residence in Amesbury and was subsequently taken to the hospital. Police suspect Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley were exposed to novichok through a contaminated item left over from the first attack.
Police announced Sturgess's death on Sunday.
Testing conducted by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory last week confirmed the pair had been exposed to Novichok, which was manufactured in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Public Health England (PHE) said their assessment "remains that the overall risk to the general public remains low".
"There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russian Federation has the means, motive and record", Boris Johnson, Britain's Foreign Affairs Secretary, said in a statement then.
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