United Kingdom woman dies after exposure to Soviet-era nerve agent

Amesbury incident

A police officer stands beside a sealed off bin

The Kremlin said on Monday it was sorry to hear that a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, had died after being poisoned by a nerve agent, but said any suggestion that Russian Federation was involved would be "quite absurd".

Dawn Sturgess, from Durrington, died at Salisbury District Hospital earlier this evening, the Meteropolitan Police said.

Speaking on a visit to Amesbury where two people remain critically ill in hospital, the home secretary said he was "very confident" police would uncover the source of the Novichok.

A British woman died on Sunday after she was poisoned by the same nerve agent that struck Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The Skripals survived the chemical attack but the British government accused the Russian government of being behind the attack and imposed sanctions on the country as well as kicking out many of its diplomats.

Britain and its allies accused Russian Federation of killing double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, while Russian Federation denies any involvement in the Skripals" case calling the allegations a "fake story'. Ms Sturgess has since died in hospital.

They are not showing any signs of having been exposed to the nerve agent, and are being screened as a precaution.

Officials are still "unable to say" whether the nerve agent in this incident is linked to the attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the same town of Salisbury.

"We need to establish quickly what they came into contact with and where", he said.

They were believed to have become exposed to Novichok by handling a container, and a link to the Salisbury attack in March is a main line of investigation.

A red Transit van travelled in by Mr Rowley and three others on the day he fell ill on 30 June was this weekend removed with the assistance of military personnel wearing protective clothing and taken to the Porton Down research laboratory for testing.

The hospital's medical director, Dr. Christine Blanshard, said the staff "worked tirelessly to save Dawn".

Wiltshire Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said it was a "real concern" that the contaminated container which poisoned Ms Sturgess and her partner had not been found.

"Because the nerve agents compromise nerve and muscle function, their effects are widespread and where deaths occur these are usually due to either respiratory or circulatory failure, or both", he said.

Last week, the Chief Medical Officer for England said that the risk to the wider public remains low but that people in the local area should not pick up any odd items such as needles, syringes or unusual containers, given the source of the contamination has not yet been found.

Police said the investigation "into the attempted murders of the Skripals is ongoing as detectives continue to assess all the evidence available".

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