UK police race to find source of new nerve agent poisoning

Fencing installed by the police of Salisbury at the entrance to the park where former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found on the bench

The search has been stepped up to find the location of the deadly poison which has left a couple from Wiltshire in a critical condition.

Police have been unable to locate the source of the contamination and have warned that they can not rule out more people falling ill.

Hours later, an ambulance was called at around 0915 GMT to treat a woman who had lost consciousness at a house in Muggleton Road in Amesbury, where Hobson said Rowley lived.

The Russian Embassy accused the United Kingdom of trying to "frighten its own citizens".

However, Home Secretary Savid Javid said that while they had concluded that "the exact same nerve agent" was used in this case, authorities "cannot attribute it to the same batch at this point".

Russian Federation has said it does not possess such nerve agents, did not develop Novichok, and President Vladimir Putin dismissed as nonsense the notion that Moscow would have poisoned Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has called on Russian Federation to explain "exactly what has gone on" and accused the country of using Britain as a "dumping ground for poison".

The attack prompted the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the Cold War as allies in Europe and the United States sided with May's view that Moscow was either responsible or had lost control of the nerve agent.

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Police haven't determined the means of transmission, saying about 100 counterterrorism detectives are working with local police to try and determine how the pair were exposed. Later that afternoon, an ambulance returned for Mr Rowley, after he started rocking against a wall, sweating, drooling, and making unusual noises, according to an account by his friend.

What's not known, or the police won't say, is where the couple came into contact with the nerve agent. "It is now time that the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on", he said. The Telegraph reported that the woman's name is Dawn Sturgess, and the man is Charlie Rowley.

"It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks and towns to be dumping grounds for poison", he told parliament.

Despite concerns that the poisoning may have been a result of exposure to a site contaminated in the poisoning of the Skripals, England's chief medical officer Professor Sally Davies said the risk to the public was low.

Police declared a major incident on Wednesday after Sturgess and then Rowley collapsed last Saturday.

The Metropolitan Police said that they were not aware of any officer having been hospitalised.

The unexplained poisoning of two British citizens with no apparent link to Russian Federation raised health concerns in Salisbury, where a massive decontamination effort took place after the Skripal poisoning case.

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