English Woman Exposed To Nerve Agent Dies

Howard TerryJul 10, 2018

A 44-year-old British woman has died after being exposed to the Novichok nerve agent in western England just a few miles from where Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were struck down four months ago.

The Kremlin on Monday said it would be "absurd" to suggest Russian Federation was involved in the death of a British woman exposed to the Novichok nerve agent.

As previously reported, Dawn Sturgess and her 45-year-old companion Charlie Rowley were hospitalized on June 30 in a critical condition.

Sturgess leaves behind three children.

Sturgess was one of five people who became seriously ill after being exposed to the nerve agent in the Salisbury area.

On Wednesday, the government's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down confirmed their exposure to Novichok.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said it was a priority to locate a "container" which may have been the "source of the contamination".

The working hypothesis is that the pair became contaminated after touching a poison container left over from the March attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The investigation into the poisoning of two more people in the United Kingdom with a Soviet-designed nerve agent is now a murder inquiry after the woman exposed to the poison died in hospital, police have announced.

Rowley, 45, remains critically ill in hospital.

The British government blamed Russia for the attack against the Skripals, and senior British officials said such an assault would not have been carried out without Russian President Vladimir Putin's knowledge.

"The possibility that the two investigations might be linked is clearly a key line of inquiry for police".

At the same time, in Peskov's words, the Kremlin has no information about "Russia being somehow associated" with the Amesbury incident, and these allegations would be absurd.

Peskov meanwhile denied a suggestion by Russia's representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin that the incident appeared to be created to damage preparations for a meeting between Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki this month.

Theresa May paid tribute to Ms Sturgess in the Commons, saying: "I am sure the House will join me in sending our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dawn Sturgess who passed away last night".

Britain "understands that direct dialogue between the two superpowers is capable of reducing the level of confrontation, gradually raising the level of trust between our countries, and destroying the lies fabricated against Russia", Zheleznyak said in July 9 comments released by his party.

"Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder", the statement read.

Public Health England said their assessment "remains that the overall risk to the general public remains low".

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