Murder inquiry as United Kingdom woman exposed to nerve agent Novichok dies

Murder inquiry as United Kingdom woman exposed to nerve agent Novichok dies

Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old British woman exposed to the nerve agent Novichok late last month, died Sunday, and authorities are treating her death as a murder.

The two Britons were taken ill on June 30 in Amesbury, a town in southwest England, 11 km from Salisbury, where Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked in March.

The conflicting comments on July 9 came as more details emerged about the death of Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old mother of three, in southern England a day earlier following what police say was an unexplained exposure to the nerve agent Novichok.

Basu says more than 100 police are working to try and search all areas where Sturgess and Rowley had been before they became ill nine days ago.

One line of inquiry suggests that after the Skripals were attacked by the nerve agent, the assailants disposed of vials, ampules or a mixing kit - or some other contaminated items - and that Rowley and Sturgess found the material and were accidentally exposed.

"Our focus and priority at this time is to identify and locate any container that we believe may be the source of the contamination", Basu, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told reporters outside New Scotland Yard.

Mr Basu said detectives will continue with their "painstaking and meticulous work to gather all the available evidence". After reviving from comas, both were released.

Police say the nerve agent that sickened Rowley and Sturgess was the same type that nearly killed the Skripals, but scientists haven't been able to tell whether it was from the same batch.

The man who became sick is still critically ill and in the hospital.

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'That said, I think everyone would want to listen to the advice of the professionals and make sure we take some precautions'.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "appalled and shocked", and announced a murder investigation.

It reflects investigators' attempts to reconstruct the movements of the victim and Mr Rowley within the arc of the 24 hours that occurred between the contact with the nerve agent and their illness.

Mrs. May sent her "thoughts and condolences" and said officials are "working urgently to establish the facts". Britain has notified the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the Skripal incident.

There is "no evidence" that either Ms Sturgess or Mr Rowley visited any of the sites that were decontaminated following the attack on the Skripals. He said "it's Britain's problem and the problem of how interested Britain is in a real investigation".

But he said health authorities continued to assert the risk to the public was low.

The question for officials is whether they want to be more direct in their challenge to Russian Federation now Ms Sturgess has died and anger is growing, or whether they will still wait to collect more evidence.

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