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Murder inquiry launched after Amesbury poison victim dies in hospital

Murder inquiry launched after Amesbury poison victim dies in hospital

Victims Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley " I am appalled and shocked by the death of Dawn Sturgess, and my thoughts and condolences go to her family and loved ones.

The woman, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, died Sunday in a Salisbury hospital in western England, after collapsing just over a week ago on June 30.

Charlie Rowley, 45, who was also exposed to the nerve agent in Amesbury, remains critically ill in hospital. Hours later, emergency workers responded to the same address after the 45-year-old man had fallen ill, police said.

Laboratory tests previously confirmed that Sturgess and the man were exposed to the nerve agent after touching a contaminated item with their hands.

A WOMAN exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in southwest England, near where a Russian spy was targeted by the same type of chemical in March, has died, police said.

Met Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said: "This is shocking and tragic news".

According to a statement from London Metropolitan Police, "The possibility that the two investigations might be linked is clearly a key line of inquiry for police".

Britain maintains the March attack on the Skripals had been ordered by the Russian government, a charge denied by representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia, now hosting the soccer World Cup, has denied any involvement in the March incident and suggested the British security services carried out the attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria.

"We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to", they said.

Salisbury District Hospital treated Sturgess and Rowley.

The prime minister said: "Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder".

The poisoning of the Skripals, both of whom spent weeks in hospital before being discharged, was blamed by the United Kingdom government on Russian Federation.

The new poisoning has frightened some residents who thought an extensive cleanup had removed the threat of any further Novichok exposure.

Yulia Skripal, Sergei's daughter, was in a coma for 20 days after she was attacked and was eventually discharged about five weeks after the poisoning.

Police officers stand guard near barriers across Rollestone Street, outside the John Baker House Sanctuary Supported Living in Salisbury, southern England, July 8, 2018.

Police are still trying to piece together how Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley came into contact with Novichok.

The two Britons had been taken ill last Saturday.