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Nerve agent Novichok that killed UK woman traced to bottle in her house

44-year-old Dawn Sturgess died last Sunday after being hospitalised following contact with the lethal nerve agent Novichok.

Amesbury incident Floral tributes left to Dawn Sturgess, who died after being exposed to nerve agent Novichok, in the city of Salisbury Source: Rod Minchin/PA Images

A NERVE AGENT which killed a 44-year-old British woman last week has been traced to a small bottle in her house.

Dawn Sturgess died last Sunday after collapsing in the home she shared with her partner, Charlie Rowley, on Saturday 30 June.

45-year-old Rowley himself was taken to hospital in a critical condition. He has since regained consciousness and is described as being in a “serious but stable” condition.

The Metropolitan Police says a small bottle was recovered from the couple’s home two days ago in Amesbury, seven miles northeast of Salisbury, where former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were struck down by the nerve agent Novichok on a public street in March of this year.

The Met has now confirmed, following tests, that bottle contained Novichok.

“This is clearly a significant and positive development,” said Neil Basu, head of UK counter-terrorism policing.

However, we cannot guarantee that there isn’t any more of the substance left and cordons will remain in place for some considerable time. This is to allow thorough searches to continue as a precautionary measure for public safety and to assist the investigation team.

A Met spokesperson added that, while the risk of further poisoning in the area remains “low”, the advice remains: “If you didn’t drop it, then don’t pick it up”.

Further tests are now to take place to try and establish whether or not the agent came from the same batch that poisoned the Skripals.

The spokesperson added that further interviews will be carried out with Rowley in an attempt to figure out how the couple came to be contaminated.

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