British woman dies after Novichok exposure

Car seized in Swindon in Novichok poisoning investigation

Police said that given the deadly dose, the British couple were believed to have become exposed to Novichok by handling a "contaminated item" - with speculation that it could have been the container used to administer the nerve agent to the Skripals.

His companion, Charlie Rowley, 45, whose identity he confirmed for the first time, was also poisoned and remains in critical condition at Salisbury Hospital.

"While this is welcome news, clearly we are not out of the woods yet", the statement said, according to the BBC. "He is in a critical but stable condition, and is now conscious", she said.

He reiterated that the main assumption of the police was that the offending poison was linked to the attack wiped out with the same powerful nerve agent four months ago by former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia at Salisbury.

Neil Basu, the Met Police's assistant commissioner for specialist operations, said he would be led by science.

Investigators have no idea how or when Sturgess and Rowley came into contact with the novichok, and police have yet to find a forensic link between the pair's poisoning and that of the Skripals.

"Charlie Rowley has made further progress overnight".

Rowley is described as very exhausted and groggy after his ordeal due to the effects of a nerve agent so toxic it put him in a coma.

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Baroness Jane Scott, the leader of Wiltshire Council, said: "I welcome the announcement of this support package from government, and look forward to working with them to provide the essential support the communities and businesses affected by this incident need".

"Late on Tuesday last week, we received that awful news that two more people - Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley - had fallen ill as a result of exposure to novichok".

"I would love to be able to stand and say to you that we've identified and caught the people responsible, how we're certain there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in your county, but the brutal reality is I can not offer you any such assurance or guarantee at this time".

Police suspect the couple were exposed through a contaminated item left over from the first attack, which Britain blames on Russian Federation.

However, chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has warned everyone in the area not to pick up "any foreign object which could contain liquid or gel, in the interests of their own safety".

He said: "The brutal fact is we don't know where (Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess) found it".

A member of the audience suggested that authorities had not been looking for the Novichok until the latest incident. It is not known if he has been told that his girlfriend has died.

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