Unlike the Skripals – who miraculously walked away from their alleged exposure to the deadly nerve agent Novichok – Dawn Sturgess, 44, who was exposed on Thursday has died.
In a statement, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK Counter Terrorism policing, said: “This is shocking and tragic news.”
“Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely difficult time.
“The 45-year-old man who fell ill with Dawn remains critically ill in hospital and our thoughts are with him and his family as well.
“This terrible news has only served to strengthen our resolve to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for what I can only describe as an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act.
“Detectives will continue with their painstaking and meticulous work to gather all the available evidence so that we can understand how two citizens came to be exposed with such a deadly substance that tragically cost Dawn her life.
“Dawn’s family has asked the media to kindly respect their privacy at this difficult time.”
This is The Met Police’s description of events leading up to Ms. Sturgess’ death…
At approximately 10:15hrs on Saturday, 30 June, the South West Ambulance Service was called to a residential address in Amesbury, where Ms Sturgess collapsed. She was subsequently taken hospital.
At around 15:30hrs on the same day, the ambulance service was called back to the same address after the 45-year-old man had fallen ill. He was also taken to hospital and Wiltshire police informed.
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down confirmed to us on Wednesday, 4 July that Ms Sturgess and her friend had been exposed to Novichok.
No-one else has presented with the same symptoms linked to this incident.
Further tests of samples from Dawn and the man showed that they were exposed to the nerve agent after touching a contaminated item with their hands.
Detectives are working as quickly and as diligently as possible to identify the source of the contamination, but this has not been established at this time.
There is no evidence that they visited any of the sites that were decontaminated following the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March this year. We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to.
The investigation into the attempted murders of the Skripals is ongoing as detectives continue to assess all the evidence available.
The possibility that the two investigations might be linked is clearly a key line of inquiry for police. However, it is important that the investigation is led by the evidence available and the facts alone.
More than 100 police officers have been working to locate a small vial or other container thought to have held the nerve agent that sickened the two. Officials say the search and cleanup operation will take weeks or even month.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“I am appalled and shocked by the death of Dawn Sturgess, and my thoughts and condolences go to her family and loved ones.
“Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder.
“The Government is committed to providing full support to the local community as it deals with this tragedy.”
Just as The World Cup reaches its conclusion, and just days before the Trump-Putin summit, this horrible tragedy suddenly occurs – three months after the Skripals’ poisoning?
As a reminder, in his statement to the House of Commons on 5th July, the British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, stated the following:
“The use of chemical weapons anywhere is barbaric and inhumane. The decision taken by the Russian government to deploy these in Salisbury on March 4 was reckless and callous – there is no plausible alternative explanation to the events in March other than the Russian state was responsible. The eyes of the world are on Russia, not least because of the World Cup. It is now time the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on.”
So we are well aware of what happens next – more diplomatic expulsions, more sanctions, and more pressure on Trump not to meet with Putin.
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Author: Tyler Durden