Salisbury poisonings: Police officer admitted to hospital as 'precautionary measure'

Salisbury poisonings: Police officer admitted to hospital as 'precautionary measure'

Salisbury poisonings: Police officer admitted to hospital as 'precautionary measure'

British authorities confirmed that the Russian-made nerve agent, Novichok, had been used to poison two people Saturday in Amesbury, England.

The Metropolitan Police said approximately 100 counter-terror officers are working round the clock alongside Wiltshire Police, adding: "The focus of the investigation remains identifying the source of the contamination as quickly as possible".

In the latest wrinkle in the case, a police officer has now sought medical attention and was transferred to Salisbury District Hospital, "which has the ability to carry out the appropriate specialist tests", a Salisbury District Hospital spokesperson said in a statement.

Police initially assumed the couple had taken contaminated drugs, a claim immediately rejected by Hobson, saying that Sturgess "doesn't take drugs".

Home secretary Sajid Javid said earlier this week that there was a "strong working assumption" the couple came into contact with a similar nerve agent in a different location to the clean-up sites in nearby Salisbury.

Britain accused Russian Federation of poisoning Skripal with Novichok nerve agent, the first known offensive use of such a chemical weapon on European soil since World War Two.

"What they'll be doing is looking into their background to see if there is any reason that they would be linked to the Skripals at all", he explained.

Police say they believe the couple then spent the night at Muggleton Road, Amesbury.

"We would like to reiterate the advice from Public Health England (PHE) that the risk to the wider public remains low".

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

It is possible that the couple from Amesbury stumbled across a unsafe amount of the nerve agent, maybe on instruments used in that initial attack.

Instead, there will have to be a laborious physical search of suspected sites.

Britain's Sun newspaper reported that the man and woman had been poisoned and were showing similar symptoms to those displayed by ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were victims of a nerve agent attack in March.

Alastair Hay, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Toxicology at the University of Leeds, said there is "no specific method for the detection of Novichok in the environment" because the use of the nerve agent was not considered likely when monitors were designed.

Javid told parliament after chairing a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee that a link between the Skripal case in Salisbury and the June 30 poisonings was the "main line of inquiry" for police in the case. It also comes as Russia hosts the Fifa World Cup - a month-long global extravaganza in which both the English and Russian football teams have advanced so far.

Forensic investigators in hazardous material suits and gas masks have begun searching the building where one of the latest Novichok victims lives.

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