Novichok: Murder inquiry after Dawn Sturgess dies

Russia? Brexit distraction? Twitter erupts amid ‘unknown substance’ case near Salisbury

British police say Dawn Sturgess was staying in Salisbury before she showed signs of sickness in nearby Amesbury on June 30.

London's Metropolitan Police force said detectives had become a murder investigation with 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess's death at a hospital in Salisbury.

Her boyfriend Charlie Rowley, 45, was also exposed to the nerve agent around the same time and place - and he remains in critical condition and in a coma at the Salisbury hospital.

Laboratory tests previously confirmed that Sturgess and the man were exposed to the nerve agent after touching a contaminated item with their hands.

A middle-aged British woman, who somehow came into contact with the Soviet-era nerve agent, died Sunday evening in a hospital in south England where she was being treated for exposure to the chemical weapon.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Britain's top anti-terrorism police officer, said the death "has only served to strengthen our resolve" to find those responsible.

Police had been working to discover how she and Rowley had come across an item contaminated with Novichok, the same toxin used in an attack on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter four months ago.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the Skripal incident.

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He accepted, however, that drivers should carry some of the blame for complaining in the past of inconsistencies in stewards' decisions which had led to a more rigid approach.

Prime Minister Theresa May said police were still hard at work investigating the source of the nerve agent.

The Met said the murder inquiry is being led by the Counter Terrorism Policing Network and around 100 detectives are working "round the clock" alongside colleagues from Wiltshire police. Skripal was discharged from the hospital in May and his daughter was released in April.

"We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to", they said.

Police officers are seen standing guard outside a local pharmacy in Amesbury, nine miles north of Salisbury, southern England, on July 4, 2018 where two people were found unconscious at a residence in Amesbury in circumstances that caused a major incident to be declared were believed to have visited.

Britain's public health authority acknowledged on Friday the concerns of people living in the area after the two incidents involving Novichok, but said it was confident that the risk to the public remained low.

Police said Ms Sturgess' family had been notified and were receiving support.

John Glen, the MP for the region, said the new poisoning has threatened an economic rebound from the slowdown caused by the attack on the Skripals.

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