Another suspected poisoning puts Britain on edge

NewsTwo people fighting for life in new suspected poisoning near Skripal crime scene Ben Gelblum

NewsTwo people fighting for life in new suspected poisoning near Skripal crime scene Ben Gelblum

The name is Russian for "newbie" or "newcomer". "We will keep this assessment under constant review as further information becomes known", said Mike Wade, Deputy Director of Health Protection for PHE South West.

"Following the detailed analysis of these samples, we can confirm that the man and woman have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok", Neil Basu, Head of U.K. Counter Terrorism Policing, said in a statement Wednesday night.

Now that British investigators have determined that the agent used was Novichok, they are now trying to determine whether or not it's from the same batch.

Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, remain critically ill.

Kier Pritchard, chief constable of Wiltshire Police, said that, until the source of the Novichok that struck down Dawn and Charlie is found, he could not rule out the possibility of more victims.

Police officers on the scene outside Harcourt Medical Centre in Salisbury, thought to be connected to a man and woman in Amesbury who are in the hospital after being exposed to what police confirmed was Novichok.

The pair, who are being treated at Salisbury District Hospital, were initially believed to have taken heroin or crack cocaine from a contaminated batch but tests are ongoing to identify the substance involved. According to mobile phone video footage taken at the scene as he was being taken away, medical personnel were wearing white protective suits at the time.

Security Minister Ben Wallace told BBC News Thursday that the couple is likely just a victim of the consequences of the earlier attack and that they were not directly targeted.

Russian Foreign Ministry Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is also urging London to allow Russia to investigate the March poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, along with British investigators.

But Russia quickly hit back, denouncing Britain for playing "dirty political games" and demanding London apologise.

The collections will then be distributed to officers working at the five cordons set up as a result of the latest Novichok incident.

Despite urging calm, England's chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies gave a specific warning on Thursday, telling the public "to be careful of picking up any unknown or already unsafe objects such as needles and syringes".

The man and woman are now critically ill in England's Salisbury District Hospital, where the Skripals were previously treated.

A hospital spokeswoman said Thursday they were "acutely ill" and the focus of their treatment was "stabilisation". "I would add that the complex investigation into the attempted murders of Yulia and Sergei remains ongoing and detectives continue to sift through and assess all the available evidence and are following every possible lead to identify those responsible, for what remains a reckless and barbaric criminal act", he adds.

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