Amesbury novichok victim Dawn Sturgess, 44, dies

Police officer given all-clear at Salisbury Hospital after fears of nerve agent exposure

London's Metropolitan Police said 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess died Sunday in a hospital in Salisbury.

Dawn Sturgess, aged 44, died in hospital last night, while her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, who was also exposed to the deadly chemical, remains in hospital in a critical condition. After reviving from comas, both were released from the hospital to an undisclosed location.

Sturgess lived in a supported-living facility that helps residents struggling with alcohol or drug addiction.

When asked about it being a murder inquiry, and whether the people involved had been targeted despite evidence suggesting it was an unfortunate occurrence, he said: "This was a deadly agent unleashed on British soil and was completely reckless, and that in itself is a reason to launch a murder inquiry". It is likely that Sturgess and Rowley were unintentionally exposed to Novichok used in the original attack that somehow survived extensive British cleanup efforts. Friends said that Rowley would often search dumpsters for items to barter or sell. While Russia made a point previous year of destroying its last remaining stockpiles of publicly declared chemical weapons, Reuters noted that it is "not believed to have ever declared Novichok or its ingredients to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)".

The British government has accused Russian Federation of poisoning the Skripals but Moscow has denied any involvement in either incident. Three men who also travelled in it show no signs of having been exposed to novichok.

Britain and its allies accused Russian Federation of trying to kill the Skripals, prompting angry denials and sparking an global diplomatic crisis.

Moscow hit back by expelling Western diplomats.

Russian Federation retaliated with similar expulsions.

Novichok is a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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"Right now, the final stage of the 2018 World Cup [hosted by Russia] and the summit between Russian Federation and the United States in Helsinki are coming".

He rejected suggestions that the government had been too quick to insist Salisbury was safe after the attack on the Skripals in March.

Mr Basu said the two "must have got a high dose" and police were seeking a "container" they are believed to have handled.

Hospital officials said late Saturday that a number of people including a police officer had sought medical advice in the last week but had been found not to need any treatment.

The investigation into the nerve agent attacks is being led by Britain's Counter Terrorism Policing Network, and the police said around 100 detectives were working round the clock alongside colleagues from Wiltshire police.

Basu said the working theory is that their exposure was linked to the poisoning of the Skripals, who have recovered after being exposed to Novichok in early March.

The quiet medieval town of Salisbury is justifiable anxious about the second case of contamination and many are upset that the government repeatedly gave the "all-clear" when that may not have been accurate.

"The overall risk to the general public remains low", he added.

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