British man exposed to Novichok regains consciousness

Clay Curtis
July 11, 2018

"Charlie [Rowley] is still very unwell and will continue to require specialist, round-the-clock care".

They both then fell ill on Saturday 30 June, and Ms Sturgess died eight days later.

Scotland Yard investigators believe that Sturgess and Rowley came into contact with the nerve agent most probably by picking up an unfamiliar object.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said the death of Sturgess on Sunday (Monday NZT) shows that she and Rowley were exposed to a large quantity of Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: "We have arranged the transportation of a vehicle from an address in Swindon this evening in relation to the on-going incident in Amesbury".

"I would love to be able to say that we have identified and caught the people responsible and how we are certain there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in Wiltshire", Mr Basu said.

Britain and its allies blamed Russia for the attack on the Skripals, prompting a major Western expulsion of Russian diplomats.

"The brutal reality, however, is that I can not offer you any such assurances or guarantees at this time".

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"I am hoping Charlie recovers, and when he recovers he will be able to tell us and perhaps shed some light on it which will narrow our search dramatically".

It's not known how Sturgess and her partner contracted the nerve agent, but tests have confirmed they touched a contaminated item with their hands.

Public Health England have said the risk to the public following the incident is low. Clearly, this is our main line of enquiry, but our investigation must be led by the evidence available and the facts alone.

The nerve agent could last for 50 years if it remains in a container, Britain's top counter-terrorism officer has said.

Basu said Tuesday police have found no forensic link between the two cases, and it was possible that a link would never be established, the Guardian reports.

The BBC understands the white Audi belonged to a paramedic who had been with Ms Sturgess in an ambulance when she fell ill.

The work to work out what happened, he said, was expected to take weeks, if not months as he repeated his call for anyone who came into the pair to get in touch.

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