Amesbury poisoning: Source of novichok found in bottle in victim's house

RACHAEL VENABLES  LBC

RACHAEL VENABLES LBC

Dawn Sturgess, who has died as a result of Novichok poisoning, is pictured in Salisbury, Britain June 27, 2016, in this picture obtained from social media.

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Her husband, Mr Rowley has since regained consciousness but remains in serious condition, as hospital staff continue to treat him.

It was taken to the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, Wiltshire, for tests. Following tests, "scientists have now confirmed to us that the substance contained within the bottle is Novichok", it announced on Friday.

Reuters reports that police said Friday that they had located a "small bottle" containing the nerve agent during a search of the home of one victim, Charlie Rowley of Amesbury. Further tests will be carried out to establish whether it is from the same batch that was used to poison Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.

"This is clearly a significant and positive development".

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of United Kingdom counter terrorism policing, said further traces of the substance could still remain in the area and urged people to continue to heed health warnings. "However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left", police said. "This is to allow thorough searches to continue as a precautionary measure for public safety and to assist the investigation team", he said.

The UK has invited experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent.

An inquest into Sturgess' death is set to open and adjourn in Salisbury on next Thursday.

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

The British government previously blamed the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal on Russian Federation, which Russia denies.

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