Man poisoned by Novichok in England conscious, hospital officials say

13 July, 2018, 20:13 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Dawn Sturgess has died

Novichok poison victim Charlie Rowley regained consciousness on Tuesday and is now in a critical but stable condition, Salisbury District Hospital announced.

"Charlie Rowley is made further progress overnight", said Salisbury District Hospital nursing director Lorna Wilkinson.

Asked by reporters outside Scotland Yard what it would take to link the original attack in Salisbury with the latest incident, Mr Basu said: "Well, clearly this is a very rare agent indeed".

Novichok first made headlines in March when it was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who both became critically ill.

Britain has blamed Russian Federation for the poisonings, but Moscow has strongly denied any involvement.

Last night Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of United Kingdom counterterrorism policing, told a packed public meeting in Amesbury that officers were working on the theory that Sturgess and Rowley came into contact with the lethal nerve agent after opening a container.

He added that it may never be possible to definitively establish a link between the death of Sturgess and the poisoning of the Skripals.

Ms Sturgess and her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley (45), were admitted to hospital in south-west England.

Rowley is described as very exhausted and groggy after his ordeal due to the effects of a nerve agent so toxic it put him in a coma.

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"The brutal reality, however, is that I can not offer you any such assurances or guarantees at this time".

Five site are now cordoned off in Amesbury and Salisbury after the poisoning of Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess.

Central to the investigation are John Baker House, the supported-living accommodation where Ms Sturgess lived, Mr Rowley's home in Amesbury, and Salisbury's Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which remains cordoned off.

England's Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies warned residents of Salisbury and Amesbury that they should not "pick up any foreign object which could contain liquid or gel, in the interests of their own safety".

That's come from Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, who told the people of Amesbury the hard work that specialists are undertaking to check scenes around the county for the nerve agent.

Mr Basu, who was speaking at a public meeting in Amesbury, said his officers were working on the theory that Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley had found a container housing the nerve agent.

"It could easily have happened to anyone, to me or my partner", 27-year-old Ben Jordan told AFP.

Police are continuing to hunt for a contaminated container which they believe was handled by the pair.

Wiltshire Police said members of the public should "not be alarmed" by the activity.

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