Published: Fri, July 06, 2018

NOVICHOK: Police aren't ruling out possibility of more falling ill

NOVICHOK: Police aren't ruling out possibility of more falling ill

They returned later in the day when Rowley also fell ill.

It's understood one line of enquiry is that the pair, who are known drug dealers, may have picked up a phial or a syringe, that was discarded after being used to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter in March.

The statements raised inevitable concerns that despite a multi-million pound clean-up operation following the attack on the Skripals, traces of the "highly-persistent" nerve agent potentially remain in the centre of Salisbury.

Developed in the then-Soviet Union in the 1970s, the paralyzing compound - which can be absorbed through the skin - had been placed on the Skripals' front door in what is widely considered to have been an assassination attempt by the current Russian state security agency.

He went on: "The hostel (where Ms Sturgess lived) now becomes a crime scene and they will treat that with the utmost respect".

PA Wire/PA Images The UK's head of counter-terrorism policing Neil Basu and chief medical officer for England Dame Sally Davies speaking at a news conference.

After the Skripal poisoning, police investigators in protective hazmat suits scoured the ancient English cathedral city of Salisbury and Mr Basu cautioned that police in protective clothing would return to the area.

Police cordoned off five locations in Salisbury and Amesbury as a precaution.

Health chiefs said the risk to the public was low, repeating their earlier advice that the public should wash their clothes and use cleansing wipes on personal items.

"I also want to highlight that the areas at Salisbury already cleaned back in use like the Maltings are safe", he said.

Russia, which is now hosting the soccer World Cup, has denied any involvement in the March incident and suggested the British security services had carried out that attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria.

An emergency cabinet meeting, chaired by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, will be held in London on Thursday as the counter-terrorism police continue to probe the incident.

"It's very hard to say how it would be linked unless you know something about the people who've become the casualties", Major General Chip Chapman, former head of counter-terrorism for the Ministry of Defence, said.

"That is a theory, but it's speculation at the moment", he said.

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

According to a local media report published on Saturday evening, almost a dozen emergency service vehicles arrive in the Muggleton Road area shortly after 6.30pm and one person is taken to hospital. The two have been identified as 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess and 45-year-old Charlie Rowley.

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