Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

More than 400 items found in U.K. nerve agent poison probe

Police forensic tents can be seen to the rear of John Baker House after it was confirmed that two people had been poisoned with the nerve-agent Novichok in Amesbury More than 400 items found in U.K. nerve agent poison probe
Melinda Barton | 16 July, 2018, 15:42

The site is close to the former home of deceased nerve agent victim Dawn Sturgess, who fell ill with Charlie Rowley at Jack Baker House.

The vessel found in Rowle's house cointained the lethal substance produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, scientists confirmed.

Meanwhile, Ms Sturgess's son, Ewan Hope, 19, has called on US President Donald Trump to raise his mother's death with Vladimir Putin when they meet in Helsinki.

Matthew Rowley said his brother Charlie, who is seriously ill in hospital, told him he had picked up the perfume bottle.

A police officer stands guard July 4, 2018, outside Charlie Rowley's house in Amesbury, southern England. Police have interviewed Rowley since he became conscious.

Investigators have spoken to Mr Rowley and will speak to him again in a bid to find out how he and his partner were poisoned.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, national lead for Counter Terrorism (CT) Policing in the United Kingdom, described the process as "painstaking and vital work".

"However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left and cordons will remain in place for some considerable time", the spokesman told The Independent.

"These samples will be analysed at highly reputable global laboratories designated by the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Search teams investigating the poisoning have recovered more than 400 exhibits, samples and items - with police warning that searches could last months.

"Work is ongoing to establish whether the nerve agent is from the same batch as used in the attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March, and this remains a main line of enquiry for the investigation team", the police said in a statement.

The police said further tests were being done to establish whether the substance that affected Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess was from the same batch as that used against the Skripals.

After a push by Britain and its allies in the wake of the Skripal incident, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was recently given new authority not only to identify but to assign blame for incidents of chemical weapons use.

Public health officials say the risk to the public is low, but advised people not to pick up any unusual items.

Police are treating her death as a murder.