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Amesbury poisoning: Novichok source revealed as small bottle

14 July 2018

British detectives investigating the poisoning of two people by the nerve agent Novichok in southwestern England said Friday that a small bottle found in the home of one of the victims tested positive for the deadly substance.

Sturgess died on Sunday, while Rowley has regained consciousness and is no longer in a critical condition.

Cops said a small bottle was recovered after searching the scene of Rowley's house in Amesbury.

Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu said no more details would be provided about the bottle. "However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left", police said.

The incident came after former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who have both since recovered, collapsed on a bench on March 4 in the nearby city of Salisbury, southwest England, sparking an worldwide diplomatic crisis after Britain blamed Russian Federation for the attack.

Peter Wilson, the country's permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), asked for the group's assistance, according to a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Charles Rowley, the 45-year-old British man who was exposed to a high dose of the nerve agent Novichok.

Mr Rowley remains in hospital but has been able to speak to police.

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'Inquiries are under way to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Charlie's house'.

A post-mortem is due to take place next week to establish Sturgess' cause of death and an inquest will be opened and adjourned on Thursday, July 19.

The search for the container was conducted by officers from Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command.

Police said this contact was being done in close consultation with the hospital and the doctors.

"This will free up some Wiltshire Police officers to get back to supporting day-to-day community policing".

"It's a highly precautionary measure and the overall risk to the public is low but their advice is simple - "If you didn't drop it, don't pick it up".

"As a precaution Public Health England continues to advise the public not to pick up any unusual items such as syringes, needles, cosmetics or similar objects made of materials such as metal, plastic or glass".

Amesbury poisoning: Novichok source revealed as small bottle