Wiltshire 'major incident' as unknown substance leaves pair critically ill

  • Wiltshire 'major incident' as unknown substance leaves pair critically ill

Wiltshire 'major incident' as unknown substance leaves pair critically ill

After spending weeks in critical condition, the Skripals were released from the hospital and taken to an undisclosed location for their protection.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills give a statement to the media outside the Bowman Centre in Amesbury, north of Salisbury, southern England, on July 4, 2018.

Video obtained by Sky News shows the moment one of the victims, named locally as Charlie Rowley, 45, was lifted into an ambulance on a stretcher.

Mr Rowley went to collect a prescription from a local Boots chemist after Ms Sturgess went to hospital but then also began feeling unusual.

Counter-terrorism police detective Neil Basu said it is unclear if the couple were targeted or if the poisoning was accidental.

"They were putting on these green suits and we thought it was the gas as our electricity was turned off as well".

"There is nothing in their background to suggest that at all".

Russian Federation has said it does not possess such nerve agents, did not develop Novichok, and President Vladimir Putin dismissed as nonsense the notion that Moscow would have poisoned Skripal and his daughter.

British newspapers reported that samples were taken to the nearby United Kingdom military research center at Porton Down, the same facility that helped identify the nerve agent in the Skripal case.

Paramedics were called to the Amesbury home on Saturday morning after a woman collapsed, and returned later that day along with fire and rescue officers when a man also fell unwell.

"Following the detailed analysis of these samples, we can confirm that the man and woman have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, which has been identified as the same nerve agent that contaminated both Yulia and Sergei Skripal".

The poisoning of a couple in Wiltshire was caused by the nerve agent novichok, Britain's top counter terrorism officer has announced.

Earlier, Wiltshire Police said they believed the pair had been exposed to an unknown substance which experts at Porton Down have been testing.

"We (the public) shouldn't be picking up anything that we have no idea what it is because we have no idea what may have contained the nerve agent at this time".

"This remains a low risk to the general public".

Police and emergency services initially believed the pair may have taken heroin or crack cocaine "from a contaminated batch of drugs", however further tests are now being carried out.

Senior British officials held an emergency meeting in London to discuss the incident, and will meet later again on Wednesday, a Downing Street spokeswoman said. "At this stage it is not yet clear if a crime has been committed", he added.

Health officials said there appears to be no wider threat to the public, but they are watching the situation.